Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guide to Moonkin Idols

Edit: As I continued to think about this I decided to post my argument and a couple of suggestions for this idol on the WoW forums. You can find the post here.

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about Moonkin idols with [Idol of the Crying Wind] becoming available from Ulduar. In this post I will do the math for all three WotLK idols and show you which idol is best in each rotation. As always, if you don't want to see all of the math please feel free to skip to the bottom for the TL:DR version.

1. I am using my talent build. It is fairly standard and I don't think there are any variations that would significantly change the out come of my math. I did run the numbers with 5/5 in Genesis and the impact was minimal.

2. Fully Raid buffed, my Hypothetical Moonkin has 2900 Spell Power, 40% Crit Chance, 29.77% Haste, and is fully hit capped.

3. I am also assuming that the [Glyph of Insect Swarm] is in use and that the 2T7 set bonus is being used.

About Idols:
I want to say a little bit about how Idols work. It is a little confusing and caused me to make an error in my math. The Wrath Idol increases "Damage Dealt," therefore it is not affected by the spell coefficent. The SF Idol says it increases Spell Power, but is not affected by Wrath of Cenarius. So it acts as if it is just an increase to base damage. The IS Idol says it increases Spell Power and is modified by the 1.2 spell coefficent that IS has.

The Math:
First lets look at the [Idol of the Shooting Star].

Here is Starfire's DPS without the Idol.

NG Uptime with SF = 1-(1-0.4-0.03)2 = 67.51%
SF Avg Cast Time = (3/(1+0.2977))*(1-0.6751)+(3/((1+0.2977)*1.2))*0.6751 = 2.0516 Seconds
Avg SF Non-Crit = (1120 + (2900 * 1.2))*(1.1*1.04*1.03) = 5420
Avg SF Crit = (1120 + (2900 * 1.2))*(1.1*1.04*1.03)*2.09 = 11328

Avg SF DPS w/o Idol = ((5615*(1-0.43))+(11735*0.43))/2.0516 = 3880 DPS
With the Idol math looks like this:

Avg SF Non-Crit = (1285 + (2900 * 1.2))*(1.1*1.04*1.03) = 5615
Avg SF Crit = (1285 + (2900 * 1.2))*(1.1*1.04*1.03)*2.09 = 11735

Avg SF DPS w/ Idol = ((5615*(1-0.43))+(11735*0.43))/2.0516 = 4019 DPS
So by equipping the SF Idol your increasing your Starfire's damage by 286 per cast or by 139 DPS.

The math for the [Idol of Steadfast Renewal] is very similar to the above math.

Without the idol it looks like this:

NG Uptime with SF = 1-(1-0.4)3 = 78.40%
W w/o NG Cast Time = (1.5/(1+0.2977)) = 1.1559 Seconds
W w NG Cast Time = (1.5/((1+0.2977)*1.2)) = 0.9632, Therefore 1 second since 0.9632 less than 1.
W Avg Cast Time = (1.1559*(1-0.7840)) + 0.7840 = 1.0337 seconds

Avg W Non-Crit = (588 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03) = 3069
Avg W Crit = (588 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03)*2.09 = 6413

Avg W DPS = ((3153*(1-0.40))+(6590*0.40))/1.0337 = 4263 DPS
Now with the Idol, Wrath's DPS looks like this:

Avg W Non-Crit = (658 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03) = 3153
Avg W Crit = (658 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03)*2.09 = 6590

Avg W DPS = ((3153*(1-0.40))+(6590*0.40))/1.0337 = 4380 DPS
So by equipping the Wrath Idol your increasing your Wrath's damage by 122 per cast or by 117 DPS.

Now lets look at the new idol, [Idol of the Crying Wind].

Insect Swarms math is a little bit easier. It currently looks like this without the idol:

IS Damage = (((1290 + (2900 * 1.2)) *(1.4*1.04*1.03))*(7/6))/14 = 596 DPS
Now, If you add the new idol in it looks like this:

IS Damage = (((1290 + (3274 * 1.2)) *(1.4*1.04*1.03))*(7/6))/14 = 652 DPS
Therefore when equipping the IS Idol, your increasing your IS damage by 785 damage, but that is over 14 seconds. In terms of DPS its only an increase of 56 DPS.

TL:DR Version:
In terms of a single spell cast the [Idol of the Crying Wind] looks decent because it increases your Insect Swarm damage by almost 8%. However, this ignores one very important problem. Since Insect Swarm is a DoT your only going to be casting it once every 14 seconds at most.

What the [Idol of the Shooting Star] and [Idol of Steadfast Renewal] lack in power is made up for by the fact that Starfire and Wrath can be cast multiple times over 14 seconds. You can see this difference by comparing the Idols DPS numbers. The DPS on the nuking idols are about 3 times larger then the DPS increase from the IS idol.

As long as your cast 3 or more Starfires per 14 seconds or 6 or more Wraths per 14 seconds on average, then the[Idol of the Crying Wind] is not for you. No moonkin should be below that level. The only time I would use the IS idol right now is for Flame Leviathan because it has a higher item level then the other idols. A commenter pointed out something I had forgotten, the "ranged" slot isn't used in the FL calculation so this idol isn't even good for that. However, I do want to say one thing. I still think all moonkin should pick it up if they can get it for free or very little DKP. You never know if Blizzard will buff it after they realize that no one is using it.

When deciding between the SF idol or the Wrath idol, the choice is pretty easy. Technically the SF idol is a little bit better, but the difference is pretty small. Therefore, if your using a Lunar Rotation, then [Idol of the Shooting Star] is the right idol for you. If your using a Solar Rotation, then [Idol of Steadfast Renewal] is the better idol.

One last thing, none of the TBC idols are worth equipping at level 80. Both the SF idol and Wrath idol are now purchaseable with Emblems and they blow anything the TBC idols offer out of the water.


Naturi said...

I think you miss some of the comp past from your spreadsheet cause it seems the SF with and SF without numbers are the same

Cdin said...


Macbook said...

Thanks for putting this to rest. I got a few questions regarding that, and while I knew it obviously would be the lower of the 3 idols available to us, I didn't have the math to support that :)


Anonymous said...

I don't think that the idol slot matters for FL.

wammes said...

Probably not the right spot to ask it, but still i think it's somewhat related.
I'm struggeling with rotations (Lunar-Solar) with respect to procc rate. Some Idols/Trinkets have a chance to procc an effect and share an internal cooldown. So this chance can be translated into a number of casts. In this way, faster casts (like wrath) would trigger the effect faster than slower casts (like Starfire). Have you somehow evaluated this effect in any of your calculations?

Thnx in advance,

Wammes (Darkmoon Faire, EU)

Gevlon said...

You say that the IS is used once every 14 secs. However what if there are several targets available and the moonkin, like a TBC affliction warlock, tab-targets them all and put IS on them? Assuming 1.4 sec GCD, you can upkeep IS on 10 targets, that way the idol provides you +470DPS. Is this usage possible?

Cdin said...


I personally have done the math on trinket procs, but I have done some similar math and see some math done by others.

The thing to remember about trinket procs and similar michanics is that almost all of them have decent proc rates but High internal cooldowns. Therefore the Internal cooldown as a much greater impact on when the trinket procs then the cast time of the spell. So, casting wrath will proc the trinket quicker, but not a whole lot quicker.


I don't think that is a very realistic senario. Primarily, because in most situations where you want to DPS multiple targets casting Hurricane would be a better option. I did some quick math and Hurricane beats Insect swarm even if you could get it on all of the targets at once.

I suppose there is probably a fight somewhere that might require dpsing multiple mobs at the same time but AoE is not possible, but I'm sure those are the rare exception rather then the rule.

Joshua said...

I would think the IS idol might be better for fights with constant movement, like Heigan. You don't get a whole lot of chances to cast Starfire on Heigan, maybe once or twice during the dancing phase, but it's easy to throw out IS+MF. And you can switch idols in combat, so no point not to carry around the IS idol. Just switch back to SF when you're done moving.

Anonymous said...

You say the lvl 80 idols beat out all the lvl 70 ones, but I was using the moonfire one for quite some time and found that it was pretty nice on some fights where I found myself moving around quite a bit. I see you've calculated how many starfires or wraths you need to cast to make their idols outweigh the IS swarm one. However, I'm wondering if you could provide a similar number for the moonfire idol even though it is not the ideal choice.

Personally for a fight that requires you to do heavy AoE I think the moonfire idol is a rather nice choice. For example with Sarth 3d I found a good portion of the fight I was just using hurricane to take down adds. Often times the only DPS I was getting on the various drakes was my insect swarm and moonfire. I'm thinking the added spell damage from the moonfire idol could be fairly significant in those situations.

It just seems like for us moonkins these idols are very situational and having a good arsenal of idols is the way to go depending on the fight. But I would love to hear more about the moonfire idol as it seems like you don't talk to much about it even though I still find it has a home in my bags. I honestly expect to see an upgraded version of the moonfire idol, but maybe that's just speculation.

Anonymous said...

Lets remember tier8 4 set bonus.
(insect swarm has a chance to make your next starfire instant cast spell)
i see 4 mobs -> cast my IS on all 4 of them -> im dealing loads of dmg and i have 4 times bigger chance to proc the bonus.

Cdin said...


Sure there are niches where the IS Idol might be useful, but one boss out of 15 does not make for a well designed idol. Plus, since heigan is in Naxx it is hardly necessary, and probably isn't worth the risk of forgetting to switch the idol back.

In high movement fights the values this idol becomes more valueable, but not enough. Seriously, The SF Idol is almost equal to the IS idol if you can get just two SF casts off in 14 seconds, 3 is where it becomes better. If you cant get 2 SFs or 5 Wraths off on average in a I high movement fight then you need to revaluate your play style.

@ Anonymous 1

The Idol of the Unseen Moon is horrible compared to all of the WotLK idols available. Unfortunately I can't point you to a post where it shows you the math, but here are the reasons.

1. It doesn't do any actual damage it just buffs your other spells.

2. The way it buffs your damage is similar to the SF and Wrath Idols. For example you get 165 SP from the SF idol. The MF idol gives you the equivalent of 168 for SF.

3. The MF idol only has a 50% proc chance so your only going to get that buff half the time.

4. The buffs duration is 10. Your MFs duration is a minimum of 15 seconds most likely 24.

5. 168 * .5 * .66666 = 56. At most the MF idol is worth 56 SP to you on average

6. Sure, you can cast it on multiple targets to get the buff, but you would do more damage by just AoEing.

Sorry to sound a little harsh, but the Idol of the Unseen Moon has no place in a level 80s gear. The SF idol out of Shattered Halls would be better.

@Anonymous 2

We don't know what the cooldown on the 4T8 set bonus is yet, but data mining suggests 3 minutes. Any cooldown pretty much eliminates the value of having IS on multiple targets for the proc. And once again Your probably just better off AoEing.

Alex said...

If we're assuming your math is correct in saying that you gain around 122 bonus damage from wrath then with eclipse factored in the number bumps up to 135.312 damage per cast

This is also assuming eclipse is at a 50% uptime which means it's up every time the CD is up (this is never the case in any raid environment but this is just theoretical).

The IS idol currently gives me 127 damage boost per tick with earth and moon up on the target and that's with 2235 spell power in moonkin form.

I average around 2 wrath casts per 3 IS ticks in every raid since I use MF -> IS -> SF spam till eclipse -> Wrath until eclipse falls off (reapply IS if eclipse duration > 6 secs). During eclipse downtime I just refresh dots that aren't up on the target and use wrath until IS falls off and then SF spam until eclipse procs again while refreshing dots when needed.

So in order for me to have a larger benefit from the wrath idol I would need to have a ratio of 1:1 for wrath cast : IS cast in order for the wrath idol to outperform the IS idol.

Could you maybe check your math again and could you also verify what all the coefficients are from that you added in this formula to calculate IS damage?

(((1664 + (2900 * 1.2)) *(1.4*1.04*1.03))*(7/6))/14 = 643

I figured that you might add in earth and moon into this equation since it was added in the wrath equation. Also can you check if my assumptions on your equations are right?

Avg W Non-Crit = (588 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03) = 3069

.6741 is how the spell scales based on cast time
1.13 = earth and moon
1.03 = master shapeshifter
1.03 = IIS?

What about moonfury? Wouldn't that add an extra 10% damage for wrath?

Cdin said...


I think you are a little confused about how I came up with my math. Here are a few points.

1. My math does not factor Eclipse in at all, but Eclipse only improves my arguement that IS idol is useless since it is unaffected by Eclipse.

2. The Coefficent of IS was increased to 1.2 in patch 3.1. As far as the IS equation goes I could have also written it this way: (((1664 + (2900 * 1.2)) *((1 +0.3+0.1)*1.04*1.03))*(7/6))/14 = 643

0.3: from Glyph of IS
0.1: from 2T7
0.04: Master SS
0.03: personal E&M
Raid wide E&M is excluded.

3. The wrath calc could also be written this way:

588 + (2900 * (0.5714 + 0.1)))*((1+0.1+0.03)*1.04*1.03) = 3069

0.5714: is the Coeffecient from time.
The extra 0.1 comes from WoC.

As to the other buffs:

0.1: from Moonfury
0.03: Imp IS
0.04: Master SS
0.03: Personal E&M
Raid wide E&M is not included,

Alex said...

Ah okay thanks,

Here's a few extras I've done maybe you can check me on it.

Taking your wrath formula we have:
Avg W Non-Crit = (658 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03) = 3069

Add in E&M and I get a formula looking like this:

Avg W Non-Crit = (658 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03*1.13) = 3563

Maybe my placement for E&M is wrong in that equation though but anyway

When I factor eclipse in I get some numbers that look like this:
Avg W Non-Crit =(658 + (2900 * 0.6714))*(1.13*1.04*1.03*1.13*1.15) = 4098

I took the difference in numbers for wrath non crit and crit so it looked like this:

No Eclipse:
Hit: 96 damage difference
Crit: 200 damage difference

Hit: 110 damage difference
Crit: 230 damage difference

With 55% hit rate and 45% crit rate I end up getting these averages:

No eclipse: 142.7 average damage difference

With Eclipse: 164 average damage difference

Now instead of 50% uptime for eclipse I'm gonna assume a 40% uptime of eclipse so it looks like this:

142.7 * 60% + 164 * 40% = 151 damage difference being made by the idol at 2900 spell power.

I'm still a little unsure about that IS formula. If I add in E&M I get this equation:

IS Damage = (((1664 + (2900 * 1.2)) *(1.4*1.04*1.03*1.13))*(7/6))/14 = 726.435 I'm guessing this is DPS?

Now if I do IS damage w/o the idol it looks like this:

IS Damage = (((1290 + (2900 * 1.2)) *(1.4*1.04*1.03*1.13))*(7/6))/14 = 673.62 DPS

If i remove the / 14 then we get the total damage done which is going to be:

IS Damage w/ Idol: 10170.1

IS Damage w/o Idol: 9430.7

Difference in damage: 739.4

Difference in damage / tick = 739.4/7 = 105.6

This difference in damage per tick doesn't make sense at all since my tests yesterday showed me with only 2250 SP having a difference in 127-128 per tick for IS. Is something going wrong with the formula?

Also if we assume 151 damage difference average per cast using wrath idol and let's say 128 damage difference per tick using IS idol then the ratio would have to be:

151 * x (wrath casts) = 128*7

You would need about 6 wrath casts per IS cast in order to beat it but that IS number is based off of 2250 SP.

Hopefully I can get some better tests on this tonight in my raid for total damage difference.

Thanks for the help with all this math stuff though. I just got the idol last night and I'm tryin to figure out what I'll be doing with it (if I'll even use it in pvp).

Alex said...

I found the math error Gray for the IS damage calculation.

Since it's a buff to spell power and not IS damage it's gonna look like this:

IS damage = (((1290 + (2900 * 1.2)) *(1.4*1.04*1.03*1.13))*(7/6))/14 = 673.6 DPS

IS damage + Idol = (((1290 + ((2900 [B] + 374 [/B]) * 1.2)) *(1.4*1.04*1.03*1.13))*(7/6))/14 = 737 dps

so it's a 63 dps increase

still hardly much of an upgrade but oh well.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to make a macro to equip na idol cast and then cast a spell?

I am thinking something like
/equip IS idol
/cast IS

/equip SF idol
/cast SF

if that didnt set back your cast time then you could maximize your dps for both spells.

Graylo said...


I think my math for the IS idol is correct. I admit I haven't tested it, but I expect that it behaves in the same way that all of our other idols do.

While all of our idols say they addsSpell Power it actually don't. In reality, they just increase the base spell power of the spell. Again I haven't checked this with the new idols but if you look at spell tool tip in game with and without the idol equiped you should see a change. Therefore, the bonus is unaffected by the spell coeffienct.

This is why you see such large differences in the idols damage. A 70 SP increase to Wrath would look tiny compared to a 165 increase SF if they were impacted by the spell coefficent.


Idol swapping macros no longer work. The problem is every time you equip an idol it triggers a full 1.5 second global cooldown regardless of you haste. It also cancels any spell you are currently casting. So, building macros to change your idols doesn't really do anything for you.

However, it is useful to be able to swap your idols quickly when needed. I do put my idols on the buttons available just incase I'm in a situation where one is better then the other. The classic situation where I used this was during Vashj in TBC. I primarily used Wrath during phase two to kill the elementals so I changed my idol at the start and end of the phase.

Alex said...

@ gray

this is true but I did the math for this one and the testing and it worked out to be a spellpower bonus rather than a base damage bonus. Maybe this is the only one that works that way?

Hamlet said...

Hi, this is Hamlet from the EJ forums. I was linked to this post from a reply to one of my Moonkin threads:

Your math on Idol of the Crying Winds is off (though the basic result isn't changed).

The SF and IS idols are a buff to spellpower, not base damage. The SF idol is confusing because it's not affected by Wrath of Cenarius, so it gives a 1.0 coefficient anyway. The IS idol does get a full 1.2 (0.2/tick) coefficient, however. It's still weaker than Shooting Star for any normal purpose, of course.

If you want to test, IS a target dummy naked and out of Moonkin form. Assuming you have Glyph of IS, Lunar Guidance, and Earth and Moon, your IS will do 292/tick without the Idol and 392/tick with.

Graylo said...


You are correct. I've modified my math, but as you say it doesn't affect the results.

Neto said...

What items were you using in these calculations. Your stats seem pretty high and still have t7 2 piece set bonus.
"Fully Raid buffed, my Hypothetical Moonkin has 2900 Spell Power, 40% Crit Chance, 29.77% Haste, and is fully hit capped.

I'm trying to get a BiS list going and I really liking those stats

Anonymous said...

If you're looking at overall damage in a fight, don't use this idol. If you want to increase your DPS average, you do this by upping your average damage. Let's say your ISS used to hit for 1000 per tick, and you use it to help increase your wrath damage which hits for 3000 on average. You're average dps will go up higher than if you used any other idol. Of course it is all based on averages. The higher base to work with the higher average you will obtain. Using any other idol and having ISS active during a fight, will lower your average per hit. It's the math of averages.