Moonkin 5.0 Survival Guide for Mists

What changed for moonkin in 5.0 for Mists of Pandaria.

Moonkin overall in MOP are in a slightly better position than we were in Cataclysm especially since we now have more on-demand cooldowns. However, there is still a lot of subtlety and complexity in the moonkin rotation. I’m hoping that we’ll see more things change for moonkin once things are live, since we had some pretty major mechanic changes late in the Beta process.  Things should feel fine overall for level 85 because most of the added complexity happens with our level 90 talents and at lower gear levels, but you won’t likely see any major changes to your single-target damage other than having better burst cooldowns for things like Heroic Spine. The AOE rotation ends up being a little different since Hurricane spam is viable for large groups of adds likely to die quickly. Most importantly, don’t panic!

By Ginny @mahoumelonball

Here’s a list of removed or added spells for moonkin in 5.0:

  • Insect swarm – Removed.
  • Also had many feral/guardian/resto abilities removed, including lifebloom & regrowth.
  • Relic slot removed (ranged slot removed from ALL classes). You can now disenchant or sell all relics. As pointed out in the comments, this led to the amount of hit rating needed being reduced by 2%. Thus, you should reforge down to 1537 hit rating for level 85.
  • Moonfire and Sunfire are now two distinct spells that you can cast at any time (no more morphing from one into the other). So, you will need to pull sunfire onto your cast bar.
  • Astral Communion: You can now set up your Eclipse in advance with Astral Communion. You should cancel your astral communion when you are 1 cast away from a Lunar eclipse when you start a DPS rotation. With the new MOP pvp set bonus, your astral communion can be used while moving.
  • Celestial Alignment: This is a new DPS cooldown, but it’s somewhat tricky to use. You want to use this outside of an Eclipse state (preferably right after you leave Lunar), as it resets your Eclipse power to zero but gives you the benefit of both Eclipse states. When CA is active, put up your DOTs, hit starfall, and then use Starfire.

General mechanic/rotation changes:

  • Hurricane now morphs into Astral Storm when you are in a Lunar Eclipse (only one is active at a time). Hurricane & Astral Storm are now viable AOE tools.
  • Starfire now hits harder than wrath for single-target damage by a significant amount, though you still cycle normally through your Eclipse.
  • Nature’s Grace now procs when you enter an Eclipse state, rather than when you cast DOTs. Starfall now has a cooldown reset when you enter Lunar Eclipse. The glyph to shrink starfall’s radius has been removed, so now you have to be more careful that it doesn’t hit unintended targets.
  • Lunar shower no longer generates Eclipse energy. Both moonfire & sunfire apply the same buff and benefit from it (so, your first moonfire would buff your next sunfire, and vice versa, though the damage increase is small).
  • Wild mushrooms had the damage done decreased, and had the mana cost moved to the bloom instead of when you drop the shrooms. In addition, the targeting mechanic changed so that your targeting circle stays active so you don’t have to press the button each time when you are dropping shrooms.

Damage rotation, talents, & glyphs for PvE:

  • For level 85, see some discussion about changing values of secondary stats & whether or not to clip DOTs here.
  • Overall DPS rotation for 5.0 explained step by step by Cyous (Macro 1 with Nature’s Vigil wouldn’t have NV at level 85, so instead of macro 1, you’d just cast Incarnation). Video of this rotation is linked in my earlier moonkin damage discussion post. Keep in mind that at higher levels of haste in Dragon Soul raid gear, we cycle through Eclipses fast enough (at least while standing still) that we won’t need to clip our DOTs as we leave an Eclipse at 85 (that becomes more necessary at lower gear levels).
  • Our multi-DOT strategy changes since we no longer have insect swarm (see video here). For large packs of mobs that die quickly, using Hurricane is likely going to result in higher damage than trying to multi-dot. Shrooms should only be used when they are set up in advance of incoming AOE targets.
  • Here is a cookie cutter talent build: feline swiftness (wild charge also viable), nature’s swiftness -> Macro to Healing Touch, typhoon (or any other CC talent), Incarnation, Mighty bash (or any other CC talent).
  • Our major glyph choices are severely lacking, so you can basically take any glyphs you want (because none of them impact your damage abilities in any way at all). Glyph of the moonbeast (highly recommended), rebirth (though without the glyph, they now res with 60% health), stampede, stampeding roar, and innervate are all options that could work for PvE.
  • Minor glyphs have some fun choices. Glyph of stars will turn your moonkin into an astral form that applies a spell effect to your humanoid form to make you more translucent & sparkly. All the minor glyphs (including tree form) are viable options (choose the most fun for you).

More info on moonkin can be found on the wowinsider post & Eluial’s forum sticky.

Your moonkin form & astral form can both ride mounts now.

If I’m missing anything else important, let me know!

6 Comments

  1. tkc
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    LOL. The pic reminds me of WKRP. “As god as my witness I thought moonkins could fly.”

  2. wammes
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Noticable: hit rating reduced (only 1537 rating needed)
    So back to wowreforge in order to reforge to crit and loose some hit rating.

    • Lissanna
      Posted August 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      You lose stats from your relic, so that’s why hit rating got reduced.

  3. Jabari
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I put this at Graylo’s, but I want to mention it here too as I’d like to see some numbers from other people.

    Try running a rotation that completely skips non-Eclipse phases using Astral Communion.
    Enter Solar -> Moonfire -> Sunfire -> Starfall -> Starfire/Starsurge*5 -> Now you’re at 0 energy, hit Communion and wait 4 seconds (enter Solar) -> Sunfire -> Moonfire -> Wrath/Starsurge until out of Eclipse (#casts will vary) -> Communion for 4 seconds (enter Lunar). Note that you only refresh the DoTs at the start of each Eclipse phase – they’ll usually drop off for a couple seconds (barring Starsurge crits).

    I know, the whole concept sounds ridiculous, but I’m getting higher DPS numbers doing that than “doing it right”. It’s also far easier mechanicaly – DoT refreshes are a complete pain right now, between variable-duration and instantly having to judge whether it’s worth it to refresh one that’s only going to last 6 seconds or so until the next eclipse.

    Graylo says that nobody’s simmed that or even tried it, when that was pretty much the first thing I thought I’d try when Astral Communion came out.

    • Lissanna
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      In dragonsoul level gear, you won’t need to refresh DOTs as you leave Eclipse. You will when you are in early level 90 gearing. It wouldn’t surprise me if the max DPS level 85 rotation in practice didn’t come out to be the max rotation simmed at 90, since a lot of the power from the level 90 rotations come from the talents that aren’t available to us yet.

      When we were playing with earlier builds of the rotation, AC wasn’t a DPS increase to use rotationally, though I have been using it to get me out of casting un-eclipsed wraths when I have any down-time at that point in my rotation. I was also using AC to set me up in Lunar before the start of a tendon phase on H Spine.

      • Jabari
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        I figured out what I was doing wrong. Graylo’s guide says to refresh DOTs when they fall off, which is just bad when they’re not buffed by either eclipse or NG. It’s far better to just let them fall off for a few seconds each cycle and just re-cast at the start of the next eclipse.

        AC is still good in just the way you mentioned.

        What’s nice is that I’m actually pulling #s on the dummy similar to what my hunter does which hasn’t been the case in a really long time.

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