Monday, April 13, 2009

Mailbag: Moonkin Specs for 3.1

With dual-specs coming fairly soon, it would be great if you would put up your thoughts on the new talent trees, especially your recommendation for a PvE DPS spec now that we don't need to compromise on DPS in order to be able to serve in another role.


Lissanna over at already looked at this topic a little bit, but given the importance that dual specs will play for some people I wanted to give it my perspective. Here are the specs that I think will be most relevant in 3.1.

The Raid Spec: (link)
This is the spec I plan on using when Ulduar drops. It is a little different then my current build because I am a little paranoid about my mana regen with all of the nerfs and more challenging fights. However, I'm not giving up much for that extra regen. Improved Moonfire, is a very poor talent if if you have the Glyph of Moonfire, and I've never been big fan of Gale Winds for a raiding build. For Glyphs the standard three of Starfire, Moonfire, and Insect Swarm are still king.

The Solo/5man Spec: (link)
Your not going to do anything perfectly with this spec, but it is decent for doing several different things. If your plan is to play around with moonkin, then this is a good place to start. You can be affective in Instances and casual raids. Farming will be a little bit easier then with a resto build or my Moonkin raid build. For Glyphs I would go with the standard 3 of Starfire, Moonfire, and Insect Swarm.

The Solo/Farm Spec: (link)
This is a pure farming utility build. It will not preform well in raids or even 5 mans. Its built purely with grinding in mind. I've dropped most of the talents that improve DoTs or rely on DoTs. I've also picked up maximum Mana regen to reduce down time. For Glyphs I would go with Focus, Starfall, and Wrath. This makes your Starfall ability more powerful for AoE grinding and gives you some more pushback resistance on your Wrath spell for single target farming.

My Nooby PvP Spec: (link)
First off a quick reminder. I don't pvp regularly and I could be pointing you completely in the wrong direction here. Take this recommendation with a grain of salt. With this build I've tried to pick up a majority of the DPS talents and pick up a little more survivability. For glyphs I would suggest the Wrath Glyph again and possibly the Starfall glyph. For your final major glyph you may want to look at the Resto glyphs because it isn't unusual for Moonkins to heal in some PvP situations.


Matthew said...

Thanks! Was hoping you'd post that :D

Jormundgard said...

Aren't they nerfing mana regen outside the Five Second Rule harder than steady mana regen? Could be wrong about that, but that was my impression at least. If so, wouldn't it be better to put those points in dreamstate rather than Intensity?

Anonymous said...

"Improved Moonfire, is a very port talent if if you have the Glyph of Moonfire"

Wait what? Afaik, 2/2 Improved Moonfire helps the DoT ticks and you're doing it for 3/3 moonglow?

Cdin said...


Blizzard is doing a lot of things that affect mana for us this patch.

They nerfed OFSR regen by about 40%, but they have buffed Intensity to compensate for that. There should be no change in the mana re gain/save from talents. This one affect moonkin directly but it will have a big impact on our healers making us less likely to use Innervate on ourselves if needed.

On top of that there are several changes that affect our mana directly.

First and foremost is the nerf to Improved Scorch. We get a lot of mana from crits. A 5% loss of crit is huge. Thats also not to mention the eventual loss of our 4T7 set bonus.

Second, Blessing of Kings and Mana Stream Totem no longer stack.

I feel like I'm forgetting some thing else, but mana is going to be tougher on everyone in Ulduar. I'm just taking more causious approach until I know what the damage is.


Imp MF is a pretty poor talent. Yes it does still increase the dot damage but due to the way it works with the Glyph its only about a 5% increase. When you consider that MF makes up just 10% of our damage your investing 2 talent points for a 0.5% DPS increase. Frankly, those points are expendable. However, if mana turns out to still not be an issue I will Put them back.

Fedoldinn said...

And, while I was logging onto this account someone already replied. Yay Cdin!

The buff to Intensity should end up with roughly the same mana regen while casting as before (it's never going to be exact) while the OFSR regen is where it's really going to hurt as Cdin pointed out.

I'd still take Intensity over Dreamstate, but I haven't run the numbers to back this up.

On a related note, I don't know how the regen nerf can really hurt Resto Druids at the moment considering you should never be OFSR while raiding anyway. I always HoT the raid when I've got spare cycles from my assignment. The larger nerfs to Restoration mana are going to be from the Lifebloom change (and also a potential change in healing style here for the first time since TBC), and of course the nerf that Innervate will end up with. For this however, I'm still not sure it's going to hit them that hard considering pre-patch Innervate was worth more than 20k mana in a raid (you could go from empty to full while still healing easily). Getting half a mana bar back and having to pop a mana potion isn't that bad.

As stated, the loss of crit is going to affect our mana. I'm not concerned about Wisdom and the Mana totem not stacking, but we'll have to see how it plays out.

Jormundgard said...

At the moment, I get more MP5 from the first point of dreamstate than from a point of Intensity. But I get more from Intensity than subsequent points in Dreamstate, since the first point is 4% and the latter are 3%.

If Intensity's contribution is unchanged then I'll probably stick with that. But of course, since Dreamstate scales with Int (i.e. Gear) I'd imagine it will overtake Intensity eventually.

In any case, it's tiny differences. I was thinking of moving points back to Moonglow, and I was glad to see you decided to do so.

Cdin said...


Are you sure you get more Mp5 from Dreamstate then Intensity?

Its possible because I've seen some gear builds where that is correct, but most of the time I find that people are forgetting about Raid buffs.

If you look at my unbuffed armory it looks like Dreamstate would be better, However, your spirit increases a lot more percentage wise with raid buffs then your Int does. For most people Intensity is better when fully raid buffed.

Also, I think Intensity will remain the bigger regen talent given the flood of Spirit we will be seeing from Ulduar gear.

Macbook said...

For PvP, I usually take Gale Winds.

Typhoon will be playing a larger part in Moonkin PvP in 3.1, with both the added knockback and 3 second daze affect, so added damage to Typhoon is crucial. I don't pick up any mana regen talents in my PvP spec (because its usually for Arena's only).

Imp MoTW is still worthwhile to pickup for Arena, because I am the only druid on any of my arena teams. Plus, while the 2% attributes buff in 3.1 is minimal, it still helps.

Subtlety is still up for grabs; I haven't decided whether or not to take it for arena.

Nice post,


Anonymous said...

Balance Mana changes
- Less spell critical strike from spell critical debuff.
- BoW and mana totem don't stack
- Weaker Innervate
+ 2% Stats from Imotw

That said I think every raid should have a balance druid with 3/3 brambles since thorns became amazing in the patch.

I'm using the same spec Graylo has, with 2 points from intensity and 1 from Imp Ins. Swarm moved into 3/3 Brambles. I think moonglow and Imotw should keep my mana afloat.

- Antonetz

Daez said...

Hmmm, thanks Gray! Looks like raid specs wont be changing much at least. Though I'll probably keep that last point in intensity over starfall.

Anyway, good post, good info, as usual! And thanks!

Allen said...

One question about your farm spec, why exclude Typhoon? Any instant damage is a boon when leveling/rep grinding it seems to me.

Also, why include Balance of Power? If you're leveling/grinding, then you wouldn't be attacking stuff higher than your level in any case, so hit rating is useless, right?

I'm sure I'm missing something here. Haven't even hit 80 yet.

Sylly said...

this is so helpful! I'm dual speccing tonight, have a full laser chicken set with epics, gems, enchants, glyphs ready to go, but wasn't positive about some of the speccing choices I was thinking about. great post!!

Cdin said...


I haven't done any math on it but I have a hard time believing that Brambles would be better then Imp IS. I could be wrong though.


I don't like typhoon for anything having to do with PvE. I don't like having to aim it. I don't like that it travels through the mobs and potentually will pull additional ones. I don't like a 12 second cooldown. The only reason I might pick up Typhoon in PvE is as an Oh crap button if I need to get a way quickly, but that's just me.

Regarding Balance of Power:
You only have a 95% chance to hit mobs that are the same level as you, so if your fighting level appropriate mobs then the 4% hit comes in handy.

Lissanna said...

@ Allen - For the solo/farm build, you can easily take a point out of Nature's Focus and put it anywhere you want (I really don't even know why you'd need nature's focus for a farming spec, anyway). So, if you wanted typhoon for a farming spec, you could pull it out from there without any negative consequences.

Siverna said...

Thanks for the raid spec :) I'm going to do exactly just that. I'll worry bout my pvp spec later :P

Anonymous said...

I too don't think that brambles is higher dps than IS. From what I can tell IS will contribute roughly .8% dps per point. I don't see brambles going that high.

But I think a full brambles druid will be a great utility buff for a raid with the buff to thorns.

Jormundgard said...

I'm working out relative mp5 (note: for old intensity stats. I'm assuming the new formula balances out the change in the new intensity). Base formula:

∆Mp5 = 5*0.0055*sqrt(int)*spi

So (in the old system) a point of intensity is equal to

∆Mp5 = 0.5*0.0055*sqrt(int)*spi

while a point of dreamstate is simple:

∆Mp5 = 0.04*int

Without raid buffs, assuming typical int = 1000 and spi = 400 ("casual" buffs), you get intensity at about 35 mp5, while dreamstate is 40 mp5 for the first point.

With buffs, I'll run off your armory values of int = 939, spi = 358.

AI = +60 int, MOTW = +58 int, +47 spi, Prayer of Spirit = +80 spi, Kings = +104 int, +48 spi

[MOTW = +37 + 2% of base+static buffs, Kings = 10% base+static buffs]

∆Mp5 (intensity) = 50 mp5
∆Mp5 (dreamstate) = 46 mp5

This is very rough and fast, but looks like intensity wins out with full buffs. Minus prayer of spirit, I think dreamstate might win.

But, given what you said, that most future gear will be loaded with spirit, I think you're right, that even without prayer of spirit intensity will win out.

Anonymous said...

Brambles is not higher dps for you, but it is for your tanks.

I.e. 2300sp*0.07=161
161+73= 234 dmg from thorns

with brambles its 410dmg it's high increase.
I'll drop imp IS prob if tanks in my guild want. Also 15% more dmg of the treants... considering that treants now have aoe dmg reducction... i guess is dmg increase if treants survive all the 45 secs

pasqoo said...

Improved Moonfire is important cause it can procs Nature's Grace...nothing else :p

Andreas said...

If you brambled Thorns does 420 (makes the math easier then with 410), each point in brambles contributes 60point of damange (420/7). if your avrage mob have a swing time around 3s that gives you 20Dps, per mob hitting somone with Thorns. Depending on your avrage DPS that mean somewhere betweeen 0.5-1% of your DPS (if your DPS is 2k-4k) per point in brables and per mob hitting someone with it.
I'm not sure how most raid senarious will look like in Ulduar, but in any situation with trash or where there are more then 2 mobbs aktive that is actually starting to look pretty nice.

Cdin said...


I went with Natures Focus for the wrath pushback resistance. Its a bit of a hold over when Moonkin AoE was worse but I think it could still be useful in WotLK.


I realize that it is an dps increase for the tanks but there are still lots of questions about its affectiveness, since there is a lot we don't know about Ulduar. I will say this, If it turns out that mana still isn't a big concern then I will pull a couple of points form mana regen and put them here.

Andreas said...

Yes one thing I didn't take into account is ofcourse the tanks avoidance, that will reduce the DPS from thors propotinally.
But any encounters with alot of adds that some offtank will pick up they will have substantionalll impact on DPS.
With some avoidance taken into acount thors, with brambels, will do around 100DPS per mob, wich is quite impressive for a passive buff.

Anonymous said...

Graylo, I have a quick question that I am sure was covered in many of the things I've already read while preparing for dual specs, but I'm still somwhat unclear on, and I apologize in advance if you've got this somewhere completely obvious that I've missed.

One thing in the raid rotation that I was a little confused about is exactly when I am supposed to refresh my DoTs. I start my rotation with FF -> MF -> IS -> W (eclipse proc) -> SF (until eclipse CD) -> MF -> IS ->etc. I’m not sure if that’s the correct time to refresh those? I mean, my IS is long gone by the time I refresh it. Is it OK to let it drop off like that? I’m fairly certain that my MF is staying refreshed via my starfires, or am I on crack? I think it's a glyph I've gotten that does that...

Thank you for all of your great work!


StaggerLee said...

Thanks for yet another useful post Graylo.

I've been balance ever since I left Darnassus to get on the boat.
However, I went Resto a month or so ago, just to have some practice when dual-specs hit.. uhm.. so yeah.. that's fun! :)
As a result Balance is now gonna be the off-spec for me.
Anyway, the 5-man/grinding spec is where I'm, gonna end up, but I want to take a point out of Celestial Focus and put it into Dreamstate, to keep mana-regen as high as possible. I have a ffeling it is a bad idea, but I can not see why ...

Daniel said...

On the PvP build... I PvP pretty avidly, and would not want to PvP any moonkin build without 12 (and no more then 12 Points in feral). Thats 5 in ferocity (the rank one choices are meh but this will open up a little veratility), 3 in Feral Instinct (the ability to position yourself unseen is far more important in PvP, the enemies are more intelligent, but they don't reset just because they cant reach you), 2 Points in thick hide (becuase they gotta go somewhere to get to the next tier, and more armor never hurts), and finally 2 points in feral swiftness. The speed increase is critical in so many situations in bg's from flag running to stealthing quickly into atack positions (like getting onto ridges to hit the entire invading force at once with aoe in AV). You loose a little boom somewhere to get these 12 points... for example my balance tree stops with typhoon, gale winds, and force of nature (these are all musts for PvP, earth and moon is not, starfall would be nice but I do without) but I would not want to play BG's without improved stealth and speed.

Datta said...

after raiding ulduar the past few night and especially the big robot douche, which is at its core a DPS race, i'm not sure either how much mana regen i'll need. I specced out of it and 1 point into genesis 2 into imp moonfire and liked it. by the end of the fight i did end up using a pot and my innervate but i might change it for tonight's raid and put some into moonglow instead. honestly though i feel our mana regen is about the same as it was. i'm not noticing myself burning mana any faster then usual. thanks for the good posts though.

Datta- Chrommaggus

Eyecare said...

I kept Typhoon because I do both PvE as well as limited PvP (normally just WG unless I'm bored stiff). I have yet to aggro unintended targets with Typhoon or to cause the tank to lose his aggro. Its damage output, especially when used against multiple targets, makes it a winner for me but each to their own.