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Moonkin guide

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Moonkin guide

Post  Maugrim on 2010-12-01, 18:35

Stats n’ caps

You should always attempt to only use leather gear. Wearing only leather items will increase your intellect by 5%. Equipping just a single piece of cloth gear will remove this bonus, and that is a massive hit to your intellect, and thus spell power and critical strike chance.

To best equip your moonkin for what’s ahead, you must have a basic knowledge of how each stat affects it. Here is a rundown of the stats and their caps, listed by their importance:

Hit rating: Hit is an important stat for every single class. Thankfully, it is fairly easy for us to attain hit, so this should always be your first priority. Each ~102,47 hit rating gives you 1% chance to hit. Additionally, each point of spirit gives you 1 point of hit rating, meaning that 102,47 spirit increases your chance to hit by 1%. Because of this, we can simply assume that spirit = hit, and treat them both as the same.

You will need 17% hit (1742 hit rating) to never miss a spell. You can also hover your mouse over your spell hit rating to see your chance to miss against mobs of equal level, or boss level monsters.

Intellect: Intellect is our strongest stat after hit rating. This is obviously something you want a whole lot of. Intellect gives you the following:

More mana
Additional spell power. One point of intellect gives you 1 spell power.
Higher chance to score a critical strike with spells. One point of intellect gives you 0,006% crit chance. In other words, you need 555 intellect for 1% chance to crit.
Haste rating: Haste is a very powerful stat for us, as a lot of our spells have been changed in 4.0 to benefit greatly from it. Haste will affect the following:

Reduces the global cooldown of your spells.
Reduces cast time of your starfire, wrath and starsurge.
Increases the frequency of your moonfire, sunfire, insect swarm and hurricane ticks.
Crit: We are no longer as addicted to crit as we have previously been. The most noticable change to crit is that we are no longer dependant on it to proc Eclipse or Nature’s Grace, and crit has become more easy to understand. Crit will affect the following:

Increases your chance to do double damage with direct nukes.
Increases the chance that each tick of your DOTs will do double damage.
Please note that critical strikes from hurricane only do 50% more damage.

Mastery: Mastery is a new stat introduced for patch 4.0 and Cataclysm. Once learned from your trainer, mastery will increase the potency of our “Mastery: Total Eclipse”, which is visible under the summary of our talent trees.

Total eclipse initially increases the bonus from Eclipse by 12%. Each point of mastery increases this bonus by 1.5%. In other words, a point of mastery increases Total Eclipse to 13.5%, making your Eclipse increase the damage of your spells by up to 38.5%.

Crit versus mastery: Preliminary theorycrafting show that crit and mastery rating, at level 85, are fairly close to each other, but not as strong as haste is. There are arguments for both stats, but at the moment, crit wins out slightly over mastery.


Reforging allows you to change 40% of one stat on an item into another. You can only swap between spirit, haste, crit and mastery, and you can only change one stat into another stat that isn’t already on the item. This means that if you have an item with haste and crit, you cannot turn 40% of the crit into more haste, but you can turn it into mastery rating if you are so inclined.

When reforging, you should work from these principles:

If you are below the hit cap, convert some crit or mastery into spirit or hit. Either stat is fine, although spirit would give you a bit more mana regen outside of combat. If you are above the hit cap, try and reforge some spirit into more useful stats. Just make sure that you stay above your hit cap, rather than below it.
If your items has no haste on it, you could reforge some crit or mastery into haste, as haste is generally stronger than crit and mastery.
As crit and mastery are generally very close at the moment, either one is fine. If you want to play around with a lot of mastery or a lot of crit, then knock yourself out.
5.0 Gems

Gemming is fairly straight forward for moonkins.

Meta: Always use the Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond *.
Blue: You will want to only use two blue gems to activate your meta. You should be using two Purified Demonseye‘s in blue slots.
Red: Red slots should always, always, always be filled with Brilliant Inferno Ruby‘s.
Yellow: Reckless Ember Topaz‘s will be your preference, but if you are lacking hit, you can use Lightning Dream Emerald‘s.


Your talent spec should largely be decided by one factor: Your mana. If you do a lot of damage, but run out of mana after 2 minutes, then your overall damage is going to suffer. On the other hand, if you can keep casting forever and never run out of mana, you can probably spare a few points in damage talents.

We are no longer the manakins we were in Wrath of the Lich King, but at level 80 in patch 4.0 you should still be fine. You will need to find a balance between damage and mana talents, though. At best you should be able to end a boss fight with 10% mana. If you have less, you will run out of mana, and if you have more, then you can try reducing your mana regen through talents.

From the talents currently available to us, we can produce two talent specs: Focus on mana and focus on damage.

As you will notice, these specs are very similar.The only real difference between the two is that you are moving points from Moonglow and Furor into Owlkin Frenzy and Blessing of the Grove. The impact of mana-to-damage changes will be a lot more significant at level 85 where you will be able to grab Master Shapeshifter and ditch talents like Dreamstate in favor for Gale Winds. Even so, apart from Master Shapeshifter, the other damage choices are fairly slim.

You can freely choose to spend the single point in Typhoon in Solar Beam or similar talents if you are so inclined.


Glyphs are fairly straight forward. With the addition of Prime Glyphs, it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Some combinations are slightly stronger than others, however.

For Prime Glyphs, you have the choice between two sets:

Insect Swarm/Starsurge/Starfire:
This setup gives you slightly more damage than the one below. However, it has a major “but” tied too it. Glyph of Starfire is a suprisingly strong glyph, even if it only does increase moonfire. However, as soon as you start clipping your extended moonfire, this glyph combination loses its advantage. Glyph of Starfire does theoretically increase the duration of sunfire, but you would never cast starfire while sunfire is up, because that would always be during lunar eclipse.

What this means is that, if you have enough haste to cast your moonfire at the beginning of an eclipse, and can reach the other end of the meter where you have to cast sunfire, before the moonfire gets to run out, you will not gain anything from this setup.

Insect Swarm/Starsurge/Moonfire:
This combination of Glyphs generally gives you the strongest damage increase if you have a lot of haste. If you are clipping the extended moonfire with the combination above, you can with confidence swap out Glyph of Starfire to Glyph of Moonfire. This is assuming that Glyph of Moonfire affects sunfire.

For major glyphs, Glyph of Starfall is the obvious choice. The remaining two glyphs is a free choice. You can go for Glyph of Focus, but then you have to be aware of your range. The limitations on your movement might be too much to sacrifice – I would personally not give up half of my range on spells, just for a 10% increase to starfall.

All other glyphs can be chosen based on your preferences and the encounter you are doing.


Enchants are usually pretty straight forward. Here is what you should generally go for:

Head: 60 intellect/35 crit rating – obtained from Guardians of Hyjal at revered reputation
Shoulders: 50 intellect/25 haste obtained from the Therazane faction at exalted reputation
Back: 50 intellect
Chest: 20 stats
Wrists: 65 haste rating
Gloves: 50 haste rating
Leggings – 95 intellect/55 Spirit from a Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Boots: Run speed/35 mastery
Weapon: Power Torrent
Off-hand: 100 intellect


The short answer to which profession you should choose is “Whatever you like”. Professions generally give you roughly the same bonus. Two crafting professions will give you double the bonus, but is obviously more costly. The general difference between most professions turn out to be nothing more than a slight difference. If you want the highest bonus possible, go for Engineering and Leatherworking.

From each profession, you can expect to gain:

Alchemy: Mixology will give you another 80 intellect when using a Flask of the Draconic Mind
Blacksmithing: Allows you to put a socket on your wrists and gloves, which leaves room for two more Brilliant Inferno Rubies for an additional 80 intellect.
Engineering: Synapse Springs * gives your gloves a +480 intellect bonus for 12 seconds every minute. Engineering also offers Nitro Boots for a quick get-away, a High-Powered Bolt Gun which does damage and interrupts casting, and a few other fun bits and bobs in general engineering-style.
Enchanting: 40 intellect on each ring for a total of 80 intellect.
Inscription: 130 intellect/25 haste on your shoulders.
Jewelcrafting: Lets you use 3 Brilliant Chimera’s Eye’s instead of Inferno Eyes for an additional 81 intellect.
Leatherworking: 130 intellect on your bracers instead of 65 haste, which gives you the DPS gain of around 100 intellect.
Tailoring: Lightweave Embroidery gives 580 spellpower for 15 seconds every minute. This gives you around an average of 140 spell power.
Herbalism: Lifeblood is a smaller haste cooldown, giving you 240 haste rating for 20 seconds every 2 minutes. It is not as potent as a crafting profession, but if you are picking flowers anyways, it will still be a decent buff.
Skinning: 80 crit rating
* You can use the following macro to automaticly cast your Synapse Springs whenever they are ready, and you are casting an Insect Swarm:

#show Insect Swarm
/script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”);
/use 10
/script UIErrorsFrame:RegisterEvent(“UI_ERROR_MESSAGE”);
/use Insect Swarm


Use a Flask of the Draconic Mind for an intellect boost. For food, chuck down some 90 intellect food like Severed Sagefish Head or a Feast.

For drinks, wash it down with a Volcanic Potion for a DPS boost, preferably during bloodlust. If you are running low on mana, you might want to use a Mana Potion instead.


Our rotation is fairly simple on paper. Getting used to it is a whole different matter. I suggest that you spend a while on target dummies to get used to your new rotation. It is one thing to do a rotation as you are standing still, hurting a poor dummy, but it’s entirely different once you are in a PvE setting. Practice is key.

Our rotation works from three principles:

Cast wrath until you proc lunar eclipse. Cast starfire until you proc solar eclipse.
Keep both DOTs up and cast them when you have just procced eclipse. Cast Insect Swarm before sunfire/moonfire, to allow your moonfire time to morph into sunfire before you cast it.
Use starsurge whenever it is off cooldown, and always when Shooting Stars proc.
If you can anticipate it, try to be inside an eclipse when you have to move. Throw up both of your DOTs and spam your moonfire/sunfire. The damage from Lunar Shower, and eclipse if you have it up, will provide a decent amount of damage even while moving. Make sure that your Insect Swarm is up as well, for a higher chance of proccing Shooting Stars on the run.

Cooldowns: Cooldowns are great for burst, and your benefit from them is increased depending on when you use them. We only have three spells with a noticable cooldowns, so there are just a few pointers to remember.

Starfall is the most powerful spell in our arsenal. Against single targets, you can get 10 stars off at your target. If you know that more targets will spawn soon, you can hold it off as long as you are not in danger of pulling aggro, which will allow for all 20 stars to fall. Don’t hold back too much though, as you would want to cast starfall as much throughout a fight as you can.

Treants is a lot of damage in one global cooldown, if they can stay alive for the duration. Usually you can cast these as you run in, and then 3 minutes later when they are off cooldown. If you know that a bloodlust is coming, try to spawn them just before the bloodlust to give them the haste benefit as well.

Typhoon is fairly decent to use if there is more than a handful of targets. You can glyph it to remove the knockback, and cause a lot of damage to trash packs or during encounters that spawn adds that needs to die. Typhoon is particulary strong if you are under the effects of solar eclipse, and have a handful of mobs to fire at.
12.0 Eclipse

Eclipse benefits almost all of our spells. Keeping this in mind allows you to gain a higher benefit from some spells. Don’t go out of your way to delay a spell on a cooldown, but if you are 3 seconds away from a lunar eclipse when starfall is ready, you might want to hold back a bit.

Lunar eclipse increases the damage of:

Solar eclipse increases the damage of:

Insect Swarm
Please note that our two AOE spells, starfall and hurricane, are arcane and nature damage respectively. If you are doing AOE damage, a solar eclipse would be a bigger increase, but if you are caught in lunar eclipse for an AOE pack, it is not the end of the world.

If you are in solar eclipse, and your starfall is ready, you should still cast it, even if it doesn’t gain the bonus from eclipse. Delaying it for too long would, at best, make you come out even, but it will delay your cooldown significantly.

Eclipse doesn’t decay. This allows you to stay inside an eclipse indefinately. So if you are eating through those ICC trash packs, put yourself under a solar eclipse and fire away that hurricane.

Tips and tricks

Practice, practice, practice. Target Dummies are generally not that great for comparing damage, but spending some time there to get really comfortable with your rotation is golden. Focus on being able to cast your rotation perfectly. Then try to distract yourself by moving around, looking at something off screen or drop hot tea down into your lap.

The aim is to teach your rotation to your muscles. Thats right, this is a full-blown finger workout! Your hands need to be able to click starfire without you really thinking of where the button is, and your brain must be used to adapt itself as you go through your eclipses.

The purpose of this is to prepare you for high paced raid encounters. Once you are so adapt to your rotation that you can follow it with little thought, it frees up your eyes to look away from your action bars. Instead, you can be staring at the damage meter, your character sheet or – if you are so inclined – look out for any hazardous events happening in the fight. Tunnel vision is not very good for your health, and if you are able to do the damage you have to do, while looking out for Malable Goo’s, you will increase your survival rate, and thus your contribution to the raid.

You can use your Thorns as a mini-misdirection. On a boss swinging at your tank every 2nd second, the base damage adds around 21.000 damage. The damage scales with your targets spell power or AP, whichever is highest. The damage done by your thorns will be credited to your target. Thorns is very powerful on AOE packs, if you want to give your tank a bit of a boost. You can have your tank as a focus target, and use the macro “/cast [@focus] Thorns” to quickly cast thorns on him or her.

If you are casting your starfall inside a lunar eclipse, cast it before you cast any DOTs. It doesn’t benefit from haste, so if you cast your DOTs before starfall, you lose a GCD on a non-hasted spell.

(Guide by Qieth )
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