How Eclipse works

So, with a lot of people leveling new druids, one of the things I haven’t covered in good enough detail lately is some of the balance druid mechanics.

Today, however, I want to talk about Eclipse and how the moonkin rotation works, looking at it from the perspective of leveling, mostly – since advanced moonkin at this point already know how Eclipse generally works. It is, however, a seemingly confusing mechanism for people new to the class, because it isn’t really that intuitive.

First, Eclipse gives you a new UI feature that shows up under your name plate, like this:

It has a yellow side, and a blue side, where the goal is to get from 0 to 100 (the sun), and then back to -100 (the moon), and so forth. Eclipse power will only be generated in one direction at a time, so if you have been casting starfire and are at 50 solar power, you can’t go back towards the moon by casting wrath, you have to keep going towards the sun. Once you reach the sun (and solar eclipse activates), you have to go back to the moon (by casting wrath, because starfire won’t generate energy now) before you can start going back to the sun again. You can’t get two sun-procs in a row, you have to go sun->moon->sun

So, lets look at the details of Eclipse:

Starfire is an Arcane spell. When you cast Starfire, it generates Solar power and pushes you more towards the Sun. Starsurge also generates Solar power when you are working on getting a Solar Power.

So, this is what you look like at 60 solar power.

When you reach 100 Solar power, you get a Solar Eclipse, like this:

Solar Eclipse increases your Nature damage, and makes all of your nature damage abilities hit harder.

  • Nature spells include: Wrath, Hurricane, sunfire, mushrooms.
  • Solar Eclipse will also buff Starsurge (because starsurge counts as both nature & arcane).

So, after you hit a Solar Eclipse, you would then stop using Starfire, and switch instead to using Wrath and Starsurge to generate Lunar power, and move towards the moon:

When you reach the zero middle point, then Solar Eclipse will end, and you will be out of an Eclipse state until you hit the Moon and get a Lunar Eclipse. An Eclipse will stay active for a long time, meaning that while you are leveling, if an Eclipse is active, you have time to move to your next mob and start to do damage on it, so Eclipse should be useful for leveling due to the fact that you have to cast spells for the bar to decay back to the zero-point.

When you reach 100 Lunar power, you gain Lunar Eclipse:

Lunar Eclipse buffs the damage done by your Arcane spells, from the point you hit the moon (100 points) until the point you hit the midpoint line (0 points) again.

  • Your Arcane spells include: Starfire, Moonfire, Starfall,
  • Hurricane morphs into Astral Storm which is now arcane.
  • Starsurge is buffed by Lunar Eclipse, since it counts as both arcane & nature damage.

Eclipse Summary: You use Starfire & starsurge to get a Solar Eclipse, and you use Wrath & starsurge to get a Lunar Eclipse. You can only have one Eclipse type active at a time, and the Eclipse Energy bar will only move in one direction (so, if you are casting either starfire or wrath,  but your Eclipse bar isn’t moving, then you are casting the wrong spell. For example, if only Starfire is generating power, but wrath isn’t, then you need to use Starfire to proc a Solar Eclipse before Wrath will generate any Lunar power).

Damage over Time (DOT) interactions: At very low levels, things should die quickly with mostly spamming wrath and starfire (based on where you are in the Eclipse rotation). DOTs are probably more helpful at low levels when you are instancing or any time you want to use instant-cast spells (such as moving). I would recommend, however, that you try to cast sunfire when Solar Eclipse is active, and moonfire when Lunar Eclipse is active at lower levels, just because they will do really high amounts of damage. Some people use DOTs all the time, even while leveling at lower levels (especially if you are fighting 2 or more things at a time). It ends up becoming a personal preference in the 1 to 60 leveling experience, and then DOTs probably become more mandatory after that point.

When things are taking a longer time to die (ie. at higher levels OR when killing elite bosses in instances), it is always better to keep both DOTs up all the time, regardless of the type of Eclipse that is active. By the time you hit 85 to 90, putting DOTs on things will always be part of your rotation, since moonfire/sunfire do so much damage.

Posted in Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Moonkin Balance DPS, Written By Lissanna
9 comments on “How Eclipse works
  1. Epifight says:

    Thanks Lissanna,

    Very helpful since I’m leveling a balance druid after years of playing a warrior tank. Two questions:

    * Is there any way/rotation to extend your time in Eclipse?

    * If a mob is resistant to a certain type of damage, do you use the other spell family even if it’s not buffed by Eclipse?

    Great site. My plan is to go Resto at 80, so your site is a great reference point.


    • Lissanna says:

      If you find a mob immune to nature damage, you still CAN cast starfire when you have a Solar Eclipse active. You just won’t get a buff for your starfire, which is fine, since it’s better than doing zero damage to an immune mob!

      The question about extending Eclipse up-time is complicated. Basically, if you have a Solar Eclipse buffing your nature damage, you could cast Hurricane pretty much indefinitely (until you log out or change zones). So, I like trying to charge up a Solar Eclipse right before I know there will be a lot of AOE pulls in the raids I’m running. Only starfire, starsurge, and wrath have an effect on the Eclipse Energy bar. So, any other spell you cast while Eclipse is up won’t move your bar. Your bar also doesn’t have a time duration (and won’t decay on it’s own), so if you go /afk for a few minutes, the buff will still be active. A lot of people seem to like spamming moonfire/sunfire (along with insect swarm) while running in circles under an Eclipse state, to benefit from having Eclipse up. However, for single-target DPS rotations in instancing or soloing, just using a standard Eclipse rotation (your nuke spells, with DOTs & cooldowns mixed in) really does higher DPS than Lawl Moonfire spam.

  2. Healinore says:

    Your article was extremely helpful in helping me understand how this works, since I don’t do moonkin all too often, but plan on using her a lot more in Cata!

    Thank you!

  3. Beth says:

    I just hit 60 on my restokin. I have tried instances as moonkin yet,(preferring to almost always insta-queue as resto.) but your posts along with keeva have been a great help to learn the class.

  4. Llamadrama says:

    Thanks for the awesome guides! I am an 80 Moonkin, and I have noticed that Lunar Shower is activated when I cast Sunfire, even though the description says it only buffs Moonfire. Do you know if Sunfire gets the same buff? I can’t really tell when I test it myself.


    • Lissanna says:

      Lunar Shower buffs both moonfire & sunfire (all things that buff moonfire should buff sunfire).

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