What is the difference between Moonkin & Resto loot?

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.
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14 Comments

  1. Hamlet
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Most of “the theorycrafting” (at least WrathCalcs, Rawr, and Simcraft, as well as anyone else who’s doing it to any depth), already takes into account the effect of crit on Eclipse proc time, as well as on Nature’s Grace uptime.

    And crit’s significantly stronger than haste when over the haste softcap but below the Lunar crit cap.

  2. Posted December 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    To follow up,

    Dear trees:

    Stop trying to take the spell power/crit dagger off Lord Marrowgar.

    It’s not a realistic resto upgrade for you. Stop trying.

    Thanks,
    Sunfyre

  3. Lissanna
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    There’s an awesome haste/spirit staff that drops off the 4th boss in 10-man. That’s a much better healing weapon than just about anything else we have access to at the moment.

  4. Posted December 14, 2009 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I lost the roll on a dagger in a 25man pug to a resto druid using Guiding Star. He thought he was still haste capped cause he had 400 haste, and because he has the 4pc T9 bonus, he thought crit was better. (Because you’re going to keep 4pc T9 the entire time for ICC, right?)

  5. Lissanna
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    It seems like a lot of resto druids haven’t caught on to the fact that they need to start caring about how much haste they have.

  6. Kaerid (Medivh)
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I noticed a huge difference in my first 5 man. My muscle memory was so used to the 1 sec GCD. Anyone who hasn’t noticed either hasn’t raided or was using a different strat. I’m still below 600 haste, but I’m working on improving.

    I have noticed that with Nourish being below a 1 sec cast, I’ve found ways to incorporate it a little more. I’ve also switched to some LB rolling instead of Rejuv in situations where I know damage is coming and the bloom will be helpful (Koralon is the most prominent example).

    That weapon from the final boss in ICC10 makes me drool!

  7. Jarnow
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    So I’m leveling a Resto druid thru Outland now, and am just starting to get gear with gem slots. Obviously for red sockets I’m going all SP, and for blue sockets I’m doing the SP/Spi. combo.

    For the yellow, at my stage (lvl65) would I be better off going for SP/Int, or SP/haste? I’m just catching up to the world of Tree itemization, so I am not sure where haste fits in, whether it’s kind of like ArPen that only gets really good at really high levels, or if every little bit helps…?

    Thanks!

  8. Lissanna
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Jarnow, At this point (level 65), It doesn’t matter much what your gems are. Anything with spell pwoer is fine. Getting more spell power is going to do a lot for you, and everything else is just “icing”. The “haste cap” is much more of a worry for people already at max level, and even then, not everyone at max level has access to the gear to hit the new cap.

  9. Jarnow
    Posted December 16, 2009 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    That’s more or less what I figured, thanks.

  10. Aysel
    Posted December 17, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I would think that intellect would end up being slightly more important for a moonkin based on dreamstate. It does come naturally on the gear, and this particular part is tailored to endgame, but I thought it was worth asking about.

  11. Lissanna
    Posted December 17, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Intellect matters for resto druids because of replenishment right now. So, in my eyes, it’s good to have it for both specs.

  12. Posted December 18, 2009 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    A question that you may get asked alot. I just got my four piece T9 set. It’s probably going to last me until cataclysm unless some miracle happens. With that in mind, how should I go about regemming? I have all spellpower gems at the moment. I heard one tree go with all intellect gems, but now that the glyph of rejuv is out, I can see all haste being good (I only have 450ish haste right now). Thanks.

  13. Kieran M
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    “The haste soft-cap for resto druids is 856 (or 735 with Celestial Focus), fully raid-buffed.”

    What about the new GotEM? Is this included in this or not?

  14. Lissanna
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    That 856/735 number is including the haste from GotEM to get rejuv & Wild Growth down to the 1 second GCD.