Eclipse Basics & Rotations for Beginner Moonkin

Based on request, here’s what the basics of the Moonkin’s Eclipse rotation looks like with pictures. This is the rotation for a level 80 moonkin doing single-target damage to a raid/instance boss. This is updated for the 3.3.3 content patch for Wrath of the Lich King. For more info on the basics of moonkin, please see my previous “how to moonkin raid PvE” post here.

First, lets look at Murmur’s Recommended rotation from the Balance 101 thread: I’ll copy & paste it from his guide to here, and then go through it step by step with pictures & explanations.

  1. Apply Faerie Fire to the boss.
  2. If there is no Unholy Death Knight, cast a single Wrath to get Earth and Moon up.
  3. Apply Insect Swarm and then Moonfire.
  4. Unless your boss strategy is very strange, use Force of Nature and Starfall.
  5. Cast Wrath until you proc a Lunar Eclipse.
  6. Cast Starfire until you proc a Solar Eclipse.
  7. Reapply DoTs as they fall off.
  8. Use Force of Nature and Starfall as they come off cooldown.

Now, lets break it down.

1. Apply Faerie Fire to the boss. This debuff lowers armor, and if you spec for Improved Faerie fire (which you should do in a raiding build), it gives your whole raid a 3% hit buff, and gives you 3% to crit with spells.

2. Next, apply a single wrath to get earth & moon up (you can skip this step if you are casting your DOTs as you run into the room and get into position, since you can’t cast wrath on the move). This is what the Earth & Moon debuff looks like:

3. Apply Insect Swarm and then Moonfire: DOTs will always be a damage increase for a beginner moonkin.

4A. Force of Nature summons 3 treants to beat up on your target, on a 3 minute cooldown. I can sometimes cast it twice in a fight if I use it towards the beginning of a pull.

4B. Starfall has about a 35 yard radius (After talents, without the glyph of focus), so be careful that you don’t aggro things to the side or behind you. However, it is going to do substantial damage to a single target in the next patch, so it’s an important tool that you need to learn how to use appropriately. Starfall is a buff that is applied to you, but hits things all around you. The buff icon shows up in your buff list, and it puts a faint moon over your head:

5. Cast wrath until you proc a Lunar Eclipse. You can tell that you get a Lunar Eclipse proc for several reasons. First, Lunar Eclipse is the Blue icon that shows up over your head. There is also the Blue circular icon on your buff bar. So, when you see a Blue-colored Eclipse, you switch to casting Starfire.

When you Download Squawk and Awe, it also shows up as a blue icon next to the words Eclipse (starfire). Since S&A is basically a required addon for new moonkin, you should be able to know that you switch from wrath to starfire when the words Eclipse (starfire) show up on your S&A mod. S&A will show up as Eclipse (Starfire) cooldown after Eclipse ends, and you keep casting starfire when it says that. Basically, the word that S&A says on that line is the spell you should be casting at any point in time.

You should NEVER just try to watch for the buff, as you won’t always see it (especially if there are multiple moonkin). You should have some type of mod to alert you when you need to switch.

6. Cast Starfire until Solar Eclipse. This is an orange Eclipse icon. When you see an orange-colored eclipse, you switch to Wrath. Squawk & Awe notes this as an orange icon next to the words: Eclipse (Wrath). When you see Eclipse (Wrath) on your S&A mod, it’s time to switch back to casting wrath.

7 & 8. When your DOTs fall off, or your cooldowns fall off, then re-cast them. Squawk and Awe will also show your DOTs & cooldown timers. It also gives you timers for your Eclipse. So, in the following picture, you should be casting wrath because you are on a lunar Eclipse for another 13 seconds, and you have 5.4 seconds until Insect swarm falls off and you should recast it. The number 2 next to moonfire means that I refreshed it 2 times with starfire because of my starfire glyph. It will stop at 3 starfires, since that is the max that the duration can be extended. This also shows that I have 49 seconds before my starfall is off cooldown. The one blank spot is where my Omen of Clarity procs show up. I turn off ALL the other tracking from the mod, as these are the only things I really care about seeing here.

It’s as simple as that! Have fun being a moonkin!

Posted in Moonkin Balance DPS

26 comments on “Eclipse Basics & Rotations for Beginner Moonkin
  1. Berry says:

    Will you marry me? Seriously.

    I just figured out what I’ve been doing wrong, and I am beyond happy. This is just so very perfect. Solar is blue, and lunar is orange. (I never saw that there were colors at all.) Perhaps more importantly, the crescent moon is starfall, not lunar eclipse.

    And I have a better idea of how to configure my S&A to boot.

    Now that I have a clue, I think I’ll set up my power auras too for triple visual warning.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write this post. It’s exactly the pieces of information I needed to make all the others make sense.

  2. Poras says:

    our guild’s main moonkin tells me about squawk and awe all the time, since i always complain about when i have to be a moonkin as well to help the raid out. personally, i just took the time to configure power auras to do about the same because i dont need another mod on my computer (it’s dying as it is).

    only thing about power auras is that it does not differentiate between lunar and solar eclipse as the buff name for both is simply “eclipse.” i just usually keep a mental note of which spell i’m spamming and when PA goes off, i switch ^_^

    but i agree with liss that having something to help you watch your eclipse procs will make a world of difference in your dps output.

    — Poras

  3. Poras says:

    @liss. going back to look at the screenshots after i clicked “submit” to see if i want to add anything, i noticed you have precious’ ribbon buff ^_^

    i still have people irritated that i won the first one that dropped for our guild, simply because i cannot /roll anything above a 12 unless it’s something i really dont need to advance my healing.

  4. Hamlet says:

    Starfall is a 30y range before talents.

    Otherwise, this works out pretty well as an intro-level guide, although I suspect the “refresh DoT’s after they fall off” might change even at the beginner level after 3.3.3. “Refresh DoT’s after each Eclipse” is probably even easier to work with and may become better, but I still have to figure it out in detail.

  5. Lissanna says:

    Hamlet – Ya. I can update this after 3.3.3. I just took Murmur’s instructions for consistency purpose & ease of explanation. It’s always possible that GC will do something else to muck with our rotations before patch day, anyway. 😉

  6. Lissanna says:

    Poras – Also, you CAN configure power auras to show both. I think Relevart has his stuff here:

    You can ask him. 🙂

  7. maerdred says:

    Mannn I always forget my Broccoli Mafia! I also hardly ever cast Starfire. I could have much better numbers than I do, I am sure of it.

  8. Katlefiya says:

    For Eclipse watching I recommend Quartz in combination with Quartz_Procs. Never understood why most Moonkins seem to prefer S&A.

  9. Lissanna says:

    S&A is moonkin specific, so it works great for beginners. Other mods work better for some people. Also, since I use S&A, it’s the mod that I can explain the best. 🙂

  10. paperclip says:

    When casting wrath to proc eclipse, does it make sense to switch to starfire in order to extend moonfire if eclipse does not proc quickly enough? Or is it better just to refresh moonfire and keep casting wrath? Do these add-ons take it into account?

  11. Coldbear says:

    CB06 Waterfalls Exploration RELEASED!
    See this blog post:
    For more info

  12. Relevart says:

    @ paperclip –

    That’s an interesting question. Remember that if you are glyphing Starfire, then you want to make use of this glyph. I do so in the following way:

    1. Cast Wrath till crit (Nature’s Grace buff shows up as spell completes cast)
    2. Cast Starfire after Wrath crit – Usually I can get off one or two before I know if my crit Wrath will proc Eclipse (Eclipse procs on spell hit, not on spell completion)
    3a. Switch back to Wrath if Eclipse did not proc.
    3b. Keep casting Starfire if Eclipse procced.

    Using this method, I am almost always able to extend my first moonfire fully.

    Caveat: This is really only best used when BOTH Eclipses are off cooldown (aka the start of a fight, after a phase change, or after large movements).

  13. Aqulestei says:


    I want to take a moment to thank you and your fellow boomkin bloggers for taking so much time and effort to help educate us noobie boomers both in game and on your blogs. ^_^

    Having read both this and the raiding guide I have found a few more things to work on with my rotation.

    I never really thought of using Starfall for single target fights, though it will definitely be more useful with the coming patch. However I’m always really concerned about using it in raids/dungeons 1) because of the large radius 2) the first few times I used it (solo and dungeon) I got myself killed by over aggroing :P. I’ll have to work with it more as my dps could use the boost.

    I never used S&A but I do find that Power Auras (I started with a few of Relevart’s then once I figured out how to set one up made a few on my own) is really great for tracking what is on cooldown. Though I found when I was looking for pre-made auras many had ones to show when the ability was ready. I find it more helpful for the aura to show what is on cooldown with a timer showing how long till it is ready. That way if there is nothing showing around my boomy I know all my abilities are ready to be cast.

    So sorry for the long comment but I am terribly bored at work right now. 😛 Anyway thank you again for the great guides! I only hope that one day soon my dps will be raid worthy!


  14. Lissanna says:

    For raids/dungeons, you just can’t cast starfall in crowded areas where you are likely to aggro extra things. You could also go for the Glyph of Focus in the next patch to drop down it’s range to make you less likely to aggro things around you. I’d wait until 3.3.3 to pick up the glyph that reduces starfall’s range.

  15. Chezza says:

    Thanks Lissanna 🙂
    Hoping to get to play some this weekend! Job interview tomorrow 🙂

  16. Bobbo says:

    “6. Cast Starfire until Lunar Eclipse. Lunar Eclipse looks just like solar eclipse, except that it’s orange.”

    This is a little mix-up, yes? (and it seems that it may have messed up the first commenter as well who posted “Solar is blue, and lunar is orange.”)

    Should read: 6. Cast Starfire until Solar Eclipse. Solar Eclipse looks just like lunar eclipse, except that it’s orange.

  17. Lissanna says:

    Darn typo. 🙁 Fixt

  18. Nightwhisp says:

    Extremely helpful stuff as always. . .As to Squawk and Awe vs. Quartz, I actually use both. I like the way that Sqk & Awe shows eclipses and the cast bar of quartz has raised my DPS more than any single tool I have used.
    If you have not seen quartz, you really need to. It helps you to compensate for lag in your casting. The day I installed it my DPS went up by over 65%, I simply wasn’t casting the spells fast enough, because I was waiting for the game to tell me when to cast. I must have been a sight as I saw the DPS meter on recount. I was also having to really hustle to cast all those spells as soon as quartz told me they were ready.

    I can’t believe the change in my DPS since I first read and implemented Mummers rotation and installed BOTH Squawk and Awe and Quartz.

    Hope this is helpful

  19. Moldy says:

    i play mainly feral tank, but this is the same advice i give all new crit chickens when i help them and the same rotation i use when i end up playing crit chicken in a Raid (mainly for fun) one suggestion i have for those who use Power Auras is a site that has configurations for it including a Yellowish and a purplish one for eclipse monitoring. I found it when i was looking for some to use for tanking and monitoring my lacerate, mangle and Demo Roar

  20. Dreamstorm says:

    Insect Swarm before Moonfire…? I thought Moonfire had juicier ticks than Insect Swarm or is that just me?

  21. Lissanna says:

    Probably doesn’t matter which DOT you start with so much, since you have to apply both. I just used Murmur’s recommendations for the sake of consistency for the community. One thing about using moonfire second is that you need to cast 3 starfires to extend it’s duration, so doing it second gives you more time for that.

  22. Dreslav says:

    After you’ve mastered the rotation and the beginner moonkin becomes more comfortable with when to cast what, you might be able to “feel” when lunar eclipse will proc. I think there’s some kind of icon that pops somewhere on my screen but I don’t know what it is… I just know when a wrath is in mid-air that will trigger my eclipse, and since I’m max range on a good chunk of fights I usually have time to refresh both dots before I start whipping out the starfires.

    Most important thing to remember for beginner moonkins:
    Always Be Casting.

    If you’re moving, refresh your dots, EVERY TIME. Toss dots on adds that are being offtanked that can be damaged. A raiding moonkin should never have mana issues, so it’s “free” damage since you can’t cast nukes on the run. In the rare fight where you’re moving a ton and have a 10+ second window of not being able to cast nukes but still have a target to damage, I just spam moonfire for the slight direct damage (hey, every point of damage counts!), making sure both dots are as refreshed as possible in anticipation of stopping.

    Great guide!

  23. Borgthor says:

    Very nice article, and will help out a lot of doomducks.

    I object on principle to any specific addon being described as (even) “basically a required addon” since there’s lots of options for representing this information in a sensible way.

    I thought the little circle around the little solar eclipse buff was totally cute… particularly when I continued scrolling and saw this bloody great solar eclipse happening over the head of the boomkin. It made me laugh out loud, so I thought I’d share.

  24. Restorm says:

    A video on the rotation would be awesome 😀

  25. Lissanna says:

    I don’t do video guides. They go out of date way too fast…

  26. Restorm says:

    To bad 🙁

    Currently I am leveling a druid, and your guide(s) have helped me out a really alooot.

    I am so thankful for what you have done!


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