Since we just got a new raid dungeon, and the stat priorities for resto druids changed, I thought I should spend some time talking about how to gear your moonkin & resto druids. The short answer is: “not really that much”. However, there are subtle differences that I’ll describe below. Regardless of how I weight stats on paper, there ends up being not too much of a practical difference in how I decide to gear for upgrades, since higher item-level pieces are almost always better than lower item-level pieces. Set bonuses also change the value of your gear, and makes the process a lot more dynamic. I also expect people to disagree with me on points, and that’s fine.
Hit Rating – moonkin only
The most obvious difference between moonkin and resto gear is that moonkin needs hit rating, and resto doesn’t. However, there still seems to be a lot of moonkin that don’t know how much hit rating they need when they are fighting 10-mand or 25-man raid bosses. First, every moonkin should spec for Balance of Power that gives you 4% hit rating. Then, you should either be spec’d for improved Faerie Fire, OR you should be raiding with a shadow priest spec’d into Misery.
So, with those two sources of hit rating through talent/buffs, this means you have two possible numbers of haste rating that you will gear for:
- BoP w/ Misery(IFF): 262.3
- BoP w/ Misery(IFF) and Draenai: 236.07
Haste rating - Resto > Moonkin
The haste soft-cap for resto druids is 856 (or 735 with Celestial Focus), fully raid-buffed. This makes haste really super important for you to gear for now, especially if you have been running with really low amounts of haste before the patch.
The haste soft-cap for moonkin druids is around 400 with Nature’s Grace active. Before hitting 400 haste, this stat is more important than crit or even spellpower. After 400 haste rating, it’s not any better than your other stats. My goal is usually to aim for between 400 and 500 haste rating from gear. Some moonkin value haste more than I do.
Crit rating – Moonkin > Resto
Crit rating helps moonkin proc Eclipse & nature’s grace. AFTER moonkin reach the hit cap and have over 400 haste, Crit becomes the stat you should focus on boosting. I’ve found that crit increases my DPS more than theorycrafting says it should, since crit actually causes Eclipse to proc more often for me – and more Eclipse means more DPS. Theorycrafting says that haste & crit are valued about the same in terms of DPS increase after 400 haste, but I really just love crit.
For resto druids, crit and haste used to be equally sucky. Our HOTs don’t crit, other than for a brief couple months where you might have the T9 4-piece bonus to get crit rejuvs. We rely on a lot of spells that can’t crit. Now that haste is so valuable, crit becomes really unimportant for resto druids, though it doesn’t hurt to pick up gear with crit (especially if it’s the haste/crit gear).
Spirit: Resto > Moonkin
For resto druids, this is your main source of regen. You also increase your healing done by spells. It’s a yummy resto stat.
Spirit isn’t a good moonkin stat. Moonkin should avoid spirit when you can. Although it will give you a tiny spell power boost, it’s not as good of a stat as haste and crit are.
Intellect - Resto = Moonkin
Most caster gear will automatically have this stat. Also, both specs benefit from replenishment regen. While moonkin gain spell power from int, resto druids generally benefit more from replenishment. This stat isn’t really too much of a priority for either spec. You just take what comes on your gear.
Spell power - Resto = moonkin
In general, spell power is great for both moonkin and resto druids. It usually has a constant (fixed) value at each tier of item level. However, you want to gem for Spell Power for both sets of gear (red, orange, or purple gems) – so pieces with sockets are usually better than otherwise equivalent pieces without sockets, since you can boost spell power with gems.
Putting it all together – Conclusions & Examples
There are several types of caster loot itemization available. Obviously, gear with hit rating on it should be used for DPS and not healing. For the most part, I share a LOT of gear between my moonkin & resto sets. However, if you can choose the “best” stats kindof randomly, here are general guidelines.
- Crit & spirit - Neither spec really places high value on this gear too much right now. Both moonkin & resto get mediocre use of this gear, though either CAN (and will) use some pieces with these stats. Moonkin do value the crit, so this is generally more moonkin-orietned than resto. As of 3.3, I’m more likely to use this for my moonkin set, though I do have some crit/spirit in my resto set. In general, Resto druids should be passing these to moonkin. I expect to see less of this stat combo on leather in Cataclysm. Example: Cord of Dark Suffering
- Haste & Spirit - More resto-druid oriented than moonkin, mostly since these two stats are so highly valued by resto druids. This is, however, a very rare combination on leather ICC itemization. Moonkin somewhat value this until 400 haste rating, however after 400 haste rating, even the crit/spirit gear is more valuable. Example: Blessed Cenarion Boots.
- Haste & Crit – Good for either moonkin or resto druids all the time. While this used to be more moonkin-oriented, the sudden increased need for haste (along with the lack of haste/spirit gear) makes this gear really super great for both specs. Even above 400 haste rating, this is better for moonkin than spirit gear. Example: Belt of Petrified Ivy
- Hit & Crit, or Hit & Haste - Moonkin-only gear. They don’t put this on leather, so moonkin need to get it from either cloth gear or accessories like: Loop of the Endless Labyrinth.
- Mana/5 on Accessories – Is not that highly valued for either spec (ranked lower than spirit for both specs). However, I would take it for my resto set, only if it had haste rating on it to help me get haste-capped. I may periodically end up with mana/5 accessories in my moonkin gear if it was a huge Spell Power upgrade and other things weren’t available. Example: Ashen Band of Wisdom.