Moonkin Raiding Guide (Updated 9/19/2012)

Ok, here is the Mists of Pandaria version of my Moonkin Raiding Guide. Please keep a couple of things in mind while you use it.
  1. My primary focus in the game is as a PvE Raider and my guide has the same focus. What I say here may not apply if your primary focus is PvP, leveling or Challenge Modes.
  2. There are exceptions to everything. I try to make as few assumptions as possible in this guide, but I'm sure it is full of them anyway. While you can adapt your play to your situation, I cannot adapt this guide for every possible situation or exception.
  3. Finally, this guide is based upon the theorycrafting communities best efforts from Beta using the tools we've had available. However, things can change when you have millions of new eyes looking at the new data with the release of a new expansion. Don't be surprised if the conventional wisdom changes over the next two months to reflect new information. I will try and keep this guide updated with new information but I suggest that you also keep an eye on Elitist Jerks and other fan sites for new information.


Talent spec:

For the second expansion in a row the talent trees changed dramatically. Instead of having 41 points to spend in almost any combination across 30+ talents, we now have 6 tiers of talents where the choices in each tier are mutually exclusive. On top of that, picking talents is a much smaller commitment in MoP since talents can be changed using a reagent. The system for changing talents is exactly the same as the system for changing glyphs.

Important Tiers

I label these two tiers as the important tiers because they both will have standard choices in most situations. In this case I have ranked them based on what will typically be chosen. The rankings are based upon the average numbers generated in Simulation Craft at several gear levels and using all significant talent combinations. That said, the specifics of an encounter could change how each of these talents is valued. Therefore, it is important to understand each of the talents, and the difference between Cooldowns and Passive buffs. I've written more about that below.

Tier 4 - The Output Tier: 
This tier has a very clear order. It came out the same for all of the simulations I ran at different gear levels and different talent combinations.
  1. Incarnation: By far the best Tier 4 talent, but it is also the most difficult talent to use optimally. To get the most out of it you have use it with Celestial Alignment and Nature's Vigil which does require some additional skill when compared to the other options.
  2. Force of Nature: This is pretty much the same fire and forget cooldown Moonkin have had for years. It doesn't perform as well as Incarnation, but it is easier to use.
  3. Soul of the Forest: The worst option in terms of output. However, it is the easiest talent to use since it is completely passive and doesn't affect the rotation at all. It is probably the best talent for leveling.
Tier 6 - The Hybrid Tier:
The tier 6 talents are a lot closer in value then the tier 4 talents. Also, the ranking could change depending on what talent you choose in tier 4.
  1. Nature's Vigil: Stacking Nature's Vigil with Incarnation results in the best average DPS due to the synergies gained from stacking cooldowns. However, it might not be the best option if the standard fight length minimizes it's uptime. Also, in my opinion it is easier to use then DoC.
  2. Dream of Cenarius: A solid DPS increase, but it significantly increases the complexity of the Moonkin rotation. It currently tests behind the combination of Incarn/NV, but is the best option when Incarnation is not chosen in tier 4. That said, I would skip DoC if it resulted in only a small DPS loss due to how it affects the rotation.
  3. Heart of the Wild: A passive buff that compares pretty well with the other two options. The last version of WrathCalcs I looked at rated it higher then NV, but it's important for you to understand why before choosing it for every fight. WC assumes you will use your cooldown only once every 3 minutes and therefore gives you the minimum value for a talent like Nature's Vigil. On average HotW is not the best option, but could be better option if the fight length minimizes the benefit of cooldowns. It could be the best option on some fights if you need to do significant healing. I could also see an argument for using it in dungeon challenge modes.
Cooldowns vs Passive Buffs:
It's important to understand the difference cooldowns and passive buffs, and how those differences can change the value of a talent in a specific situation.
  • Passive Buffs provide a smaller but consistant bonus all the time no matter the length of the fight. If you are doing damage you are benefiting from the passive buff.
  • Cooldowns on the other hand provide a larger bonus for a limited amount of time, and can't be used again until they come off their cooldown. As a result their value will change depending on the length of the fight.
Lets look at an example to show why this is important. Lets say you have a cooldown that doubles DPS for 15 seconds and can be reused after 3 minutes. In both a 4 minute and 6 minute fight you should be able to use that cooldown twice. However, in the 4 minute scenario the cooldown would be up 12.5% of the time and only 8.33% of the 6 minute fight. In this example, the cooldown would increase DPS as a percentage equal to the uptimes.

So, if you had a choice between the cooldown or a passive buff that provides a 10% DPS increase which do you choose? If the fight tends to last 4 minutes then the Cooldown. If the fight is 6 minutes long then the Passive Buff is probably best.

All of the DPS cooldowns available to Moonkin have a 3 minute cooldown. As a result if the fight length is close to a multiple of 3, then the value of a cooldown might be minimized and a passive talent like HotW might be best. I'll do a more in depth post on this later.

Less Important Tiers

Most of the time, these four choices are more about personal preference then what is the "standard" choice. That said, all of the choices could be required in a specific situation depending on the fight and your raid group. With that in mind all moonkin should be prepared to use all of the talents with a basic understanding of how they work.

Tier 1 - The Movement Tier:
  • Feline Swiftness: This is the passive option that can be quite helpful in any fight that involves movement. I've had numerous people tell me that this does infact stack with the boot enchant, which makes it really nice.
  • Displacer Beast: Not a great choice for moonkin PvE since it shifts you to cat and stealths you. Also, the last time I heard it does not take you out of combat.
  • Wild Charge: Can provide a lot of utility if you are good at shifting quickly. For moonkin it is the high skill option, but is probably irrelevant most of the time.
Tier 2 - The Healing Tier:
  • Nature's Swiftness: This looks to be the best choice for Moonkin in almost any situation. In terms of healing output it's compatible if not better then Renewal, and it can be used more often. In terms of utility it doesn't have to be used for healing and can be used to benefit other players. If Dream of Cenarius is selected in tier 6 then this is a required talent. Check the macro's below for how to optimize it.
  • Renewal: Easier to use then Nature's Swiftness because it doesn't require a macro, but it falls behind due to less output and less utility.
  • Cenarion Ward: Not a good choice for moonkin unless you plan on healing significantly.
Tier 3 - CC Tier #1:
  • Faerie Swarm: A single target slow that seems superfluous given that we already have a slow with Fungal Growth.
  • Mass Entanglement: Could be very useful in the right situation, but the targets have to be fairly tightly grouped to root multiple targets.
  • Typhoon: The same knock-back that moonkins  have had for years, but without the damage.
Tier 5 - CC Tier #2:
  •  Disorienting Roar: A 3 second AoE CC that could be useful in the right situation.
  • Ursol's Vortex: Probably the most versatile choice since it works very well with Mass Entanglement and Typhoon in tier 3. Not only can it be used to group targets up, but can be used to pull a target a way from you in an emergency.
  • Mighty Bash: A 5 second Stun that could be useful in the right situation. Would have loved to have this during Heroic Lich King in WotLK.
My Likely Build: link


Stats at level 90:


How Moonkins value the various stats is changing significantly for the first time since The Burning Cruisade. Since about the middle of TBC Haste Rating has been the primary secondary stat once your at the hit cap and it remained that way in WotLK and Cata. In Mists of Pandaria haste is being dethroned.

The New Stat Equation:

Int > SP > Hit > Crit > Haste > = < Mastery

This is based upon the results from Simulation Craft using a T14 Normal mode gear level, but when run at the heroic gear level the results are very similar. Since Int and Spell Power are fairly standard based upon the iLevel of your gear, there are three things to take away from the equation above.
  1. Hit Capping is very important.
  2. Crit Rating is better then Haste and Mastery,
  3. The values for Haste and Mastery can shift with small gear changes.
Also for the first time it is somewhat important to know what the weights are as well as the order because of Gemming (I'll go into why in the gemming section). With that in mind here are the stat weights I got with Simulation Craft using T14 normal mode gear:

Int = 1, SP = 0.84, Hit = 0.80, Crit = 0.46, Haste = 0.40, Mastery = 0.40

Intellect: Increases the power of damage and healing spells. This is the base stat for all caster DPS including Moonkin, and is largely based upon the ilevel of gear the player is wearing. It is converted into Spell Power on a 1 : 1 ratio, but is better then Spell Power since it also grants Crit Chance and is increased by Leather Specialization, Mark of the Wild type buffs, and Heart of the Wild.

Spell Power: Like Int, SP increases the power of all spells. Typically only found on Weapons and some trinkets, and like Int is largely determined buy the ilevel of the players gear. Spell Power is worse then Int because it does not increase the caster's crit chance and has fewer buffs.

Hit Rating / Spirit: Decreases the chance damaging spells will miss the target. To hit cap against "Boss" level targets players will need 15% additional hit. At level 90 the Hit cap is 5100 Hit Rating.

For the purposes of a Moonkin these two stats are the same stat. For the secondary stats Hit capping is still the first priority. In terms of your performance as a Moonkin there is no difference between Hit rating and Spirit. However, Spirit is required for Resto druids while Hit rating is mostly useless for them. Therefore, spirit is slightly better in terms of utility if all other considerations are equal.

Crit Rating: In addition to increasing the frequency your critical strikes, Crit rating boosts Moonkin DPS in two new ways in MoP. First, when your DoT ticks crit they have a chance to proc Shooting Stars. Second, the critical strikes from the Moonkin Nukes will extend one or both of the DoTs  by one tick depending on which Nuke had the crit. This results in Crit Rating typically being the best secondary stat after you reach the hit cap.

Haste Rating: Decreases the cast time of spells. It also increase how quickly DoTs and channelled spells tick and adds additional ticks at specific breakpoints. The mechanics of how Haste works haven't changed at all in MoP, but there are other changes that indirectly pulled the value of haste down. Very close in value to Mastery. You will need to use a modeling tool like Simulation Craft or WrathCalcs to know specifically how it ranks for you.

I have posted the breakpoints for Moonfire and Sunfire below. These breakpoints assume that you have Nature's Grace up. Of course the breakpoints are higher if you don't have NG up, but I don't feel the need to post those numbers since NG will have a very high uptime and you really shouldn't be casting DoTs if NG isn't up.

At this point, I don't know of a big reason to be really concerned about the breakpoints. As a general rule it is better be slightly above the breakpoint then slightly below, but in the limited testing I've done I haven't seen a big shift in DPS or stat valuation by reaching a new breakpoint.


Breakpoints
w/ 4T14w/o 4T14
+3 ticks:37065273
+4 ticks:808910289
+5 ticks:1251715318
+6 ticks:1687920380
+7 ticks:2129225350

Mastery Rating: Increases the buff provided by Eclipse. The basic mechanics of how Total Eclipse and Mastery work haven't changed in MoP, but the numbers used have changed quite a bit. Very close in value to Haste. You will need to use a modeling tool like Simulation Craft or WrathCalcs to know specifically how it ranks for you.




Gear: 

I write a separate Moonkin Gear guide that is updated with each major patch and can be found here. It hasn't been updated for MoP yet, but should be soon.



Reforging: 

In case you have forgotten, here are the basic rules.
  • You cannot reforge to gain or lose a primary stat. (Int, Stam, Agi, or Str)
  • You can reforge any secondary stat (Spirit, Hit, Haste, Crit, Mastery), but you can only gain a stat not currently on the item. For example, if you have an item with Spirit and Haste, you can turn 40% of the Spirit into Crit or Mastery but not Haste.
Obviously the goal of reforging is to maximize your best stats (Crit and hit) at the expense of your worst stats (haste and mastery). Here are a few steps I like to follow when reforging my gear. Some of them a re a little counter intuative, but they will work out for the best in the end. Since this is somewhat of a complex process it is a good idea to plan out what you are going to do on paper before you do anything in game.
  1. The Reforge Priority: When it comes to Reforging I think about the secondary stats this way: Crit > Hit > Haste > =  < Mastery
  2. Crit: The primary goal is to maximize Crit Rating. Only reforge Crit Rating off an item if you are still below the hit cap after converting as much Haste and Mastery to Spirit/Hit Rating as possible. As a general rule, any base item that doesn't have Crit Rating should be reforged to increase Crit even if you are below the hit cap. You can likely pick up the needed hit else where.
  3. Spirit/Hit: Your primary goal with Spirit/Hit is to get as close to the cap as possible. Small differences of being above or below are not huge issues. If you are above the cap, reforge as much of the Spirit/Hit to Crit Rating as possible. If you are still above the cap, reforge what you can to Mastery and Haste. If you are below the hit cap, then you will want to reforge Mastery or Haste to Spirit.
  4. Haste/Mastery: The primary goal is to balance your Mastery and Haste after you've reached the hit cap and maximized your Crit Rating. As I've said before, you will have to use a tool like Simulation Craft or WrathCalcs to determine how you value Haste and Mastery. Adjust your reforges based upon the results, but I recommend that you make small changes and retest until you find the best balance.



Gems:

The big change in MoP gems is that gems now provide twice as many secondary stats as primary stats. For example, a Brilliant Primordial Ruby provides 160 Intellect, but a Quick Sun's Radiance provides 320 Crit Rating. The hybrid gems are follow this rule as well.

This won't change the way moonkins gem right away. For the first tier of content in MoP the secondary stats aren't half as good as Intellect and as a result we will still gem primarily for Int. However, in later tiers gemming for Crit Rating will likely be the best strategy as Crit Rating improves with gear.

Meta - [Burning Primal Diamond]
Red/Prismatic - [Brilliant Primordial Ruby]
Yellow - [Potent Vermilion Onyx]
Blue - [Purified Imperial Amethyst]

Skipping Socket Bonuses: With the change to gem itemization, it is highly unlikely that you would ever want to skip a socket bonus.



Enchants:


Weapon - Jade Spirit
Shoulder - [Greater Crane Wing Inscription]
Chest - Glorious Stats
Back - Superior Intellect
Wrists - Super Intellect
Gloves - Greater Haste or Superior Mastery - It depends on which stat you value more.
Belt - Brilliant Primordial Ruby in Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs - [Greater Cerulean Spellthread]
Boots -Greater Haste or Pandaren's Step
Off-Hand - Major Intellect


I've avoided any enchants with Hit Rating or Spirit since you should be able to hit the cap without them. If that is not the case then definitely use the Hit or Spirit enchant. Also, if one of your professions provides a better enchant then what I have listed above then use that one instead, obviously.


Glyphs:


In MoP, Prime glyphs have been eliminated, and with them most of the reasons you would ever care about glyphs.

Major:There are really only five Major Glyphs that I would consider using as a raiding moonkin. I've listed them below in the order I would rank them, but it's really a matter of personal preference with a couple of exceptions. There are others, that might be useful in very specific situations.
  • Glyph of Rebirth - I've listed this first, because it's an amazing utility in a raid, and helps to prevent your battle rez being wasted. Most raid leaders will expect you to have it.
  • Glyph of the Moonbeast  - Being able to cast a heal on yourself without shifting is a great convenience. If you use the DoC talent this is a mandatory Glyph.
  • Glyph of Stampede - Having a "Dash" in Moonkin form can be a big help.
  • Glyph of Stampeding Roar - Could be very useful as a raid utility in the right situation.
  • Glyph of Innervate - At this point I don't think Moonkin will have mana issues. However, if that is incorrect GoI might be a good third choice.
Minor: All of the minor glyphs are cosmetic or very minor utility bonuses. Chose which ever three you like.



Professions:

Min/Maxing: Engineering is the best choice since it can be used in combination with DPS cooldowns. The rest are fairly close in value. Leatherworking and Tailoring are probably slightly better, but not by a significant margin. Inscription is significantly behind the other crafting professions.

Jewelcrafting: Provides 320 Int
Leatherworking: Provides 330 Int, cheap Wrist enchants, and BoE Leather Caster gear
Blacksmithing: Provides 320 Int
Alchemy: Provides 320 Int, and double duration flasks.
Enchanting: Provides 320 Int
Inscription: Provides 320 Int
Engineering: Provides 320 Int on average. The actual value of the Synapse Springs buff will vary due to fight length and how the buff is used. Since the buff is player procced you can get additional value out of the buff by activating it during Eclipse phases and with the other cooldowns. Engineering also provides utility like Rocket Boots and the Parachute Cloak.
Tailoring: Provides 320 Int on average. The value of Lightweave Embroidery will vary depending on the lenght of the fight and other factors. The value varies because the proc always occurs in the beginning of the cooldown, but it also doesn't proc at exactly 60 each time. The other benefits of Tailoring are cheap Leg and Cloak enchants, but none the gear is usuable by Moonkin.

Gathering Profession buffs: The buffs from gathering professions are significantly weaker then that of the crafting professions. Most serious raiding guild will expect you to have two crafting professions if you are to raid with them.
Herbalism: Lifeblood now comes with a Haste buff. At level 90 it is equivalent to 480 haste on average.
Skinning: 480 Crit Rating.
Mining: 480 Stamina


Races:

Horde: Troll due to Berserking and Beast Slaying
Alliance: Worgen due to Viciousness and Darkflight

There are no DPS benefits to being a Night Elf or a Tauren, as a result almost all high end moonkin raiders are either a troll or a worgen depending on faction. If your are appling to hardcore raiding guilds you want to be one of these races since they tend to concider even small buffs like these when evaluating applicants.


Add-ons and UI info:


Balance Power Tracker: This is the best moonkin specific addon I've seen. It address most of the issues I have with the Blizzard UI. It allows you to move and enlarge the Eclipse bar to make it more notice able. It also tells you if your current cast will proc Eclipse and has several other features that should help you manage your rotation. That said it wasn't a complete solution for me. (link)



The Basic Rotation:

Hamlet from Elitist Jerks described the Moonkin rotation in Cataclysm much better then I did. I am not copying his work for this guide, but I am using some of the structure and terms he used to describe the rotation. The last I heard he is not planning on updating his guide, but he does talk about moonkin from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter at @HamletEJ. 

The Four Phases:
The basic moonkin rotation is easiest to describe is four phases using the two main nukes. Once you understand those four phases it is easier to understand how the other spells should be cast during those phases.
  • Pre-Lunar: No spells are buffed. The primary goal is to get to Lunar Eclipse as quick as possible. Cast Wrath until Lunar Eclipse.
  • Lunar Eclipse: Arcane spells are buffed and favors single target DPS. Cast Starfire for the duration of Lunar Eclipse.
  • Pre-Solar: No spells are buffed. The primary goal is to get to Solar Eclipse as quick as possible. Cast Starfire until Solar Eclipse.
  • Solar Eclipse: Nature spells are buffed and favors AoE DPS. Cast Wrath for the duration of Solar Eclipse.
In very basic terms, once you hit Lunar Eclipse you cast Starfire until you hit Solar Eclpse. Once you hit Solar Eclipse you cast Wrath until you hit Lunar Eclipse. Below I'll describe how you integrate the other spells into the rotation.

Managing DoTs:
There are two primary goals when you manage your DoTs. The first is to maintain a very high uptime on the target. The second is to cast the DoT with as many buffs as possible. Unfortunately these two goals don't always play nicely with each other and one goal has to be sacrificed for the other on occasion.

The general single target strategy that seems to work best in simulations is casting both DoTs once each Eclipse transition. This way both DoTs are buffed by NG and one is buffed by Eclipse. From here, the easiest way to describe the rotation is to use an example: Once you enter Solar Eclipse cast Sunfire even if it overwrites an uneclipsed Sunfire already on the target. Wait to cast Moonfire until there is no Moonfire on the target and you have Nature's Grace. For Lunar Eclipse you would obviously reverse the spells.

Finally, use common sense. The strategy above is a very general strategy and won't apply to all situations. To maximize DPS you will have to modify it based upon your situation. If you are If you are 7 or 8 seconds away from the next eclipse and a DoT just fell off, it might be best to refresh that DoT. If there are only 4 or 5 seconds left on an eclipsed DoT and you are about to leave that Eclipse, it might be best to clip that DoT. Use common sense.

Important Note: DoTs retain most of the buffs they received when cast even after those buffs fade. For example, if you cast a Moonfire during Lunar Eclipse and then leave Lunar Eclipse, that Moonfire is still buffed by Eclipse even though you no longer have the Eclipse buff. I know of only one exception to this and that is crit buffs. The crit chance of DoT ticks adjusts dynamically, therefore when a crit buff fades it falls off the DoT as well. For this reason it is a good idea to track all of the temporary buffs might have and reapply DoTs if a lot of them are active at once even it it means clipping your DoTs. However, as always, use common sense.

Starsurge:
The general rule is that Starsurge should be cast on cooldown since it is a very powerful spell and generates a similar amount of energy to Wrath and Starfire. The only exception is if you are one cast way from the next Eclipse. In which case it is best to delay casting Starsurge so that it is buffed by Eclipse.

Starfall:
Starfall should be used on cooldown in Lunar Eclipse. Just make sure you don't already have an active Starfall before you cast.

The Cooldowns: Incarnation, Celestial Alignment, & Nature's Vigil
For now I'm going to assume that it is standard for moonkins to choose the Incarnation and Nature's Vigil talents. If for some reason this is not the case, it doesn't change the way the remaining cooldowns should be used. Follow the strategy I've described below and just omit the cooldown you don't have.

To get the most out of these cooldowns you need to understand how they work and use them in a fairly specific order.
  • Incarnation is a 30 second buff that buffs your damage while in Eclipse.
  • Nature's Vigil is a 30 second buff that buffs all of your damage.
  • Celestial Alignment is a 15 second buff that gives you both Eclipse buffs but consumes all your energy and prevents you from generating any more while the buff is up.
Incarnation should be used first as soon as you enter a new Eclipse, followed by Nature's Vigil. Then follow the normal rotation until you leave Eclipse. Once you are out of Eclipse cast Celestial Alignment followed by Berserking if you are a Troll, and then Moonfire to apply both DoTs. With Celestial Alignment up Starfire is your primary nuke since it does the most single target DPS. However, Wrath or Moonfire, might be the better option depending on how much time is left on the buff. There are a couple of macros that make managing these cooldowns a bit easier. I have listed them below.

Symbiosis: Mirror Images
Casting Symbiosis on a Mage is the only personal DPS option available to moonkin. If you are allowed to do so, you will gain the cooldown Mirror Images. As far as I know the images are not buffed by Eclipse and their for should be cast on cooldown.

Force of Nature:
If you choose this talent over Incarnation, Force of Nature should be cast on cooldown.



Other Strategies:


The Starting Rotation:
In most situations you will want to be one cast away from proccing Lunar Eclipse before the fight begins. Once the fight begins your opening rotation is: Starfall => Mirror Images => Wrath => Your normal CD rotation from above. It's not complicated. Just make sure you don't overwrite an active Starfall with a new one, since you will be able to cast it 3 times in the first 20 seconds.

AoE Strategy: 4+ grouped targets
There are a couple of changes regarding Moonkin AoE being introduced in MoP. First, there is an Arcane version of Hurricane called Astral Storm. It is only available during Lunar Eclipse and uses the same button as Hurricane. Also, an Eclipsed Astral Storm is weaker then an Eclipsed Hurricane, but stronger then an Uneclipsed Hurricane. Second, Wild Mushrooms are significantly weaker then they were in Cata, and shouldn't be a regular part of the Moonkin AoE rotation.

Try and be in Solar Eclipse if possible for AoE phases. Place Wild Mushrooms ahead of time if you know where the targets are going to spawn or be tanked. Use Hurricane/Astral Storm as your main AoE DPS spell. The talent Ursol's Vortex may be helpful in grouping up targets.

Multi-Target Strategy: 2 or 3 high health targets
The multi-target strategy is very similar to the basic strategy above. The main difference is that you want to place DoTs on all available targets, but this will affect the rotation in a couple of ways you will want to be aware of.
  1. DoTs don't generate Eclipse energy, so multi-dotting targets will slow the Eclipse transition down. This means you may want to refresh DoTs more frequently then described in the basic rotation. (ie: cast each DoT more then once each Eclipse transition.)
  2. More DoT ticks means that Shooting Stars will proc more frequently. The basic strategy is already to cast Starsurge on cooldown with a couple of exceptions, but you may not want to delay at all if you have DoTs ticking on multiple targets.
It's also a good idea to have away to track DoTs on multiple targets. I personally use TidyPlates, but there are several options and it's really a matter of personal preference.

Movement DPS Strategies:
When it comes to movement DPS Moonkins only have three options.
  1. Shooting Stars: Since it makes Starsurge instant cast it is by far the best movement DPS option Moonkin have. Unfortunately it is also completely unpredictable. If you know you are going to have to move in a couple of seconds it is a good idea delay using the proc until you are moving. If it procs while you are moving, use it immediately unless it pushes you out of Eclipse.
  2. Lunar Shower: A stacking buff that buffs the direct damage portion of the DoTs, but no longer causes MF or SnF to generate energy. The main concern here is determining which spell to use when. If you are in Eclipse you want to used the DoT that would be buffed by Eclipse. If you are not in Eclipse then you want to make sure you don't overwrite a DoT buffed by Eclipse.
  3. Wild Mushroom: Since WM has been nerfed this is no longer a very good option for movement DPS. However, there are a couple of situations where it performs well. First, if you can get all three down and they would hit two or more targets then it performs better then a DoT fully buffed by Lunar Shower (the exception is if you are in Lunar Eclipse). The second situation is if you will need to AoE soon, and the movement allows you to place them ahead of time while moving.
Other then that, the old rules still apply. Try and time your movement with when you will need to cast your instant spells. Plan your movements ahead of time and try and minimize the distance and frequency with which you need to move.

Astral Communion and Managing Eclipse:
Astral Communion shouldn't have a regular part in your rotation, but it can be helpful when preparing for significant events in a fight or if there is a significant amount of down time in a fight. For example, it can move you to Solar Eclipse more quickly if an important AoE phase is coming up or to Lunar Eclipse for an important burst phase.

If you have some down time AC can move you to the next Eclipse while you wait. Just make sure that you plenty of time to get their if you are already in one Eclipse. Also, it is better to be one spell away from Eclipse before you need to DPS then actually in Eclipse to maximize the benefit of Nature's Grace.

Dream of Cenarius:
This is not a strategy I recommend, unless it provides really significant DPS increase over the other Tier 6 talents, because it overly complicates the rotation and forces you to use abilities in strange ways. However, it is important to understand how it works in case you need it.

To use this strategy you will want to follow the basic strategy with one change. Dream of Cenarius gives you a buff that increases the damage of  your next two DoT casts by 50% after you cast Healing Touch. Therefore you want to cast Healing Touch sometime before you reapply the DoTs. The buff does not have duration, so Healing Touch can be cast at any point in the rotation as long as you cast it before you recast your DoTs. If you are using this strategy, Tier 4 talent Nature's Swiftness and the Glyph of the Moonbeast are required.



Macros:

Quick note: The "Assist" macro below is a macro that I got off of Hamlet's Moonkin Guide on EJ, and have used them for a couple of years. Since I am including a macro section in the guide for the first time I thought it would be a good idea to include them as well. The other macros below were either written by me or suggested by readers.

Assist Macro: - from Hamlet

#showtooltip
/use [@target, harm, nodead][@targettarget, harm, nodead][] Starfire

With this macro, your spells will automatically assist your target if your target is friendly. I have a version of this macro for each of the 5 major moonkin spells. I like this macro because it allows me to continue to DPS even if I've accidentally targeted a fellow raid member. This reduces the downtime caused by the mistake.

Incarnation/Nature's Vigil Macro:

#showtooltip
/castsequence reset=10/nocombat Incarnation, Nature's Vigil, Moonfire, Sunfire

This is the first cooldown sequence you want to use when you proc Eclipse while all of your cooldowns are available. I put Moonfire before Sunfire, because you will likely use it during Lunar Eclipse more often. I have also excluded Starfall from the macro to prevent overwriting an older Starfall cast.

Celestial Alignment/Berserking Macro: 


#showtooltip
/castsequence reset=10/nocombat Celestial Alignment, Berserking, Moonfire

This is the second cooldown sequence you want to use right after you leave Eclipse. Obviously if you are not a troll you should exclude Berserking. You also don't have to include Sunfire since Moonfire will apply both DoTs.

NS/HT Macro: - from Erdluf
#showtooltip
/use Nature's Swiftness
/use [@mouseover,help][]Healing Touch


Rebirth Macro: - from Erdluf

#showtooltip
/use [@mouseover,dead,combat][dead,combat]Rebirth;[@mouseover,dead][dead]Revive;[@mouseover,help][]Rejuvenation

No one likes to waste a Rebirth to a silly mistake. This macro helps to make sure you don't cast it while you are out of combat.



Tools:

Simulation Craft: (link) A simulation tool that allows players to simulate their DPS rotation thousands of times in just a few minutes. It's very good at evaluating Talents, Gear, and Rotation changes. It also accounts for random events better then the other tools I've listed. If you know how to use it, it is the most versatile tool available.

On the negative side it is not as user-friendly, and will take a little research to learn how to modify the rotation to evaluate changes. Plus, the numbers will change slightly each time you use it since it is based upon random events. As a result, small difference should be treated as statistically insignificant.

WrathCalcs: (link, newest version as of this writing) A formulation tool that calculates DPS based upon averages and assumptions. It is much more user friendly then Simulation Craft and is very good at evaluating Gear. It can also be good for evaluating talents if you understand the underlying assumptions. It will also give you the same output every time given the same inputs and is better at identifying small differences.

On the negative side, it is not as versatile as Simulation Craft and doesn't allow you to evaluate small changes in the rotation. It can also give misleading results if you do not understand the underlying assumptions.

Rawr: (link) I don't have a lot of experience with Rawr. It's a formation tool like WrathCalcs and historically has used the same calculations as WrathCalcs but with a GUI interface. As a result it's strengths and weaknesses are likely to be very similar to WrathCalcs.

Other Guides:


15 comments:

Treespring said...

run speed enchants and feral swiftness stack, you'd have a baseline 123% run speed. I haven't checked in the last couple days, but I have prior ot that.
I'm not sure if Starfall is adding the last tick of a prior starfall if you clip or not, do you know for sure how that behavior works?
Symbiosis:Mirror Images hit for practically nothing, like 27-50 damage at 90 on beta for quite some time, they are more a threat drop than any meaningful dps gain. I personally strongly prefer undying resolve from a lock or AMS or even intervene. AMS is just an extra survival CD, Undying is a great survival cd and 100% pushback immunity, and intervene is situationally wonderful on fights like Will of the Emperor or Elegon that have significant large range movement that you can pair with caster form wild charge to cover a lot of ground quickly.
Lastly a couple macros I'm really liking first is the one that I use with wild charge (I also recomend a power aura with this to yell at you if you're out of form)

#showtooltip
/cancelform [mod:alt]
/cast Wild Charge;

lets you disengage in moonkin form normally, or if you want to pick a friendly target to intervene too you can use it with alt to drop form and fly quickly to them.




2nd one I'm using as my cd button. I keep healthstones macro'ed into the same button across alts that is usually my alt+cd button hence it's presence in this.
but baseline is hit it without a modifier to pop inc/nv, cast out of eclipse and use it with ctrl to pop zerking and CA, or with alt to use a healthstone.

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt] Healthstone
/use [nomod] 14
/cast [nomod] !Incarnation
/cast [nomod] !Nature's Vigil
/cast [mod:ctrl] !berserking
/cast [mod:ctrl] !Celestial Alignment
/use [nomod]14;
/cast [nomod] Incarnation;

Anonymous said...

Assuming that we get a higher proportion of our total damage from DoTs in a sustained multi-target scenario, does DoC gain enough value relative to the other t4/t6 combos (I'd guess you'd probably want to take it with SotF to minimize the loss in cycling speed from all the dot-ing and DoC juggling) to get close to the default Inc/NV combo?

Erdluf said...

I'm pretty sure you can get NS/HT from a single cast (NS is off the GCD):

/use Nature's Swiftness
/use [@mouseover,help][]Healing Touch

I also like to merge revive and rebirth with another heal button (just to save a button). I also use @mouseover for heals (so I can target a raid frame, without a click)

/use [@mouseover,dead,combat][dead,combat]Rebirth;[@mouseover,dead][dead]Revive;[@mouseover,help][]Rejuvenation

Jabari said...

Wow, I wonder what changed between 85 and 90 with Force of Nature. FoN performed absolutely TERRIBLY when I tested it on the dummies a couple days ago. On the order of 20% worse than both SotF and Incarnation (which were basically equal).

Stat weights still aren't important :P - just sim with both sets of gems and see what's better. *laugh*

Interesting that hitting a new haste breakpoint doesn't seem to matter much - that's completely counter-intuitive. What %-age of damage are the DoTs doing right now?

"Try and time your movement with when you will need to cast your instant spells."

Ha. Like that ever happens in real life. One thing that would be nice to know is what do to when "stuck" without Eclipse or NG buffs, and there are no DoTs on the target. Is it better to A) DoT and Nuke to the next Eclipse, B) just Nuke, or C) Communion?

Erdluf is correct with the NS macro - I have the same one for resto as a separate button for "Emergency Heal Now!(tm)"

Re: Addons: I like Tidyplates as well, but I have a problem with it pushing the nameplates off the top of the screen for large monsters - do you know any way to prevent that?

Xaktsaroth said...

I have a all resses in 1 button macro:
#showtooltip
/stopmacro [nohelp,nodead]
/cast [combat] Rebirth; [mod:alt] Mass Resurrection; Revive

Very handy since it gives you all resses in the same place.
Me personally as well use the addon aftercast and have:

/ac +start /run SendChatMessage("Ressing you","WHISPER",nil,UnitName("target"))

In the macro as well for announcing.

Daraxis said...

My Wild Charge macro is as follows:

#showtooltip
/cancelform [@mouseover,help,exists][@target,help,exists]
/cast [@mouseover,help,exists][@target,help,exists] Wild Charge; Wild Charge

If I mouseover (or target) a friendly target and spam the button it drops form and intervenes, otherwise it disengages.

Christina said...

Your inscription information is incorrect.

200/100 - the better BOE enchant
520/100 - the scribe only enchant

so 320 like the rest

Anonymous said...

Inscription: Provides 200 Int & 100 Crit


This is wrong Graylo.

These values are for the BoE shoulder enchants, the scribe ones have 520int and 100 crit so basically they give you 320 int like most professions.


Evesath said...

If it comes to Rebirth/Revive macro in one button, I worked out another version with automatic PARTY or RAID message generated (no spam on both channels, but still both of them served):

#showtooltip Rebirth
/stopmacro [nohelp,nodead]
/run c="Resurrecting %t."if UnitInRaid("player")then SendChatMessage(c, "RAID")elseif GetNumPartyMembers()>0 then SendChatMessage(c, "PARTY")end
/cast [combat,dead] Rebirth ; Revive


I'm also using handy Innervate macro (I usually innervate healers, even if its just minor help since cata). What's good about it, I'll just quickly swap your targets back without the need of picking your enemy again.

#showtooltip Innervate
/stopmacro [nohelp,nodead]
/run c="Innervating %t"if UnitInRaid("player")then SendChatMessage(c, "RAID")elseif GetNumPartyMembers()>0 then SendChatMessage(c, "PARTY")end
/cast Innervate
/targetlastenemy


Next helpful thing on at least 2 target's fight is casting dots on focus target without the need of switching; but that's quite simple macro done with

/cast [target=focus]Sunfire

and could be put into casting sequence (but you dont want to put both of them when you're under Celestial Alignment buff, so watch out).

Anonymous said...

Hi Gray,

for leveling from 85 to 90, is reaching the hitcap the most important thing too? Or is it first crit and then hit?

Graylo said...

@Treespring

Funny, this is the first I've heard that it stacks with the run speed enchants, though I haven't tested it myself. I will have to take a look.

I will also didn't realize that Mirror Images sucked so badly. Thanks for the heads up.

@Erdluf

Thanks for the Macros. I've added them to the guide, though I will likely make the Nature's Swiftness a cast on self macro.

@Christina
Thanks for the correction. I thought that looked strange.

Treespring said...

@Graylo
Just double checked on live, they do stack, and multiplicatively. You get 124% from boots/talent, 155 in cat, 174 in travel, stampeding roar travel is 250 something. If you go really hard w/ the feral pvp set too you can get up to like 340% or something in stag, it's kind of amazing for flag running.

Graylo said...

Thanks to the multiple people who have corrected my mistake on feral swiftness. It has been corrected.

Ben Leighton said...

Is it worth mentioning that Wild Charge is on the Global Cooldown? Having raided all Cataclysm on a hunter for whom Disengage is not on the GCD, I can tell you that if you have skill in using Disengage you always resume casting instants while in mid air. Wild Charge (Moonkin) feels clunky, but more importantly if you plan movement well in a raid encounter you should be able to cast for close to 100% of the fight, possibly making using Wild Charge a DPS loss?

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused with this guide about the DOTs. I was looking in my spellbook and couldn't find Nature's Grace so I assume it's out of the game?