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.
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).
If you see any typos or issues in the guides, please post here. I purged most of the comments from the guides to help reduce the amount of patch-day confusion people may have. Some of the pages will still accept comments, and others have been disabled to reduce the amount of spam they get. So, posting comments here may be more reliable than trying to post on the actual guide pages.
Cyous of Illidan made a video talking about the MOP balance druid rotation, as of build 16004. Note that any changes in builds may have an impact on rotations. Incarnation and Nature’s Vigil are currently coming out highest on testing right now, so that’s what talents the video uses (though Cyous was posting on an 85, Nature’s Vigil would be in a macro with Incarnation since they share the same 3-min cooldown timer).
Macros from the video:
/use Incarnation: Chosen of Elune
/use Nature’s Vigil
For people looking at more basic info than what is in the video, Icy Veins has a good starting point. The rotation shown in the video will be higher damage than what Icy Veins talks about, but everyone has to start somewhere! The balance rotation overall is higher DPS at earlier gear levels if you re-cast your DOTs right before an Eclipse state ends, though it feels awkward to do that because you’ll clip the remaining time on the one you just cast at the start of an Eclipse. Especially at lower levels of haste, this can feel pretty awkward and I’m hoping this DOT-clipping problem will be addressed soon, which would require Blizzard to increase the duration of our DOTs so they lasted longer.
Cyous describes changes to a multi-DOT (AOE) rotation here. The multi-DOT strategy is good for when your targets are going to die slowly. If things are going to die relatively fast, Hurricane (or the arcane astral storm equivalent) is coming out okay to use.
Gearing changes: For patch 5.0, the biggest change is that you are going to need to reforge back into a heavy-spirit gearing. Intellect no longer provides you any increase to your mana pool size, and we lost the talents that gave us mana regen from intellect. If you are having any problems at all, go get more spirit.
Ironbark: A damage reduction ability you can put on other people. This is your new tank damage reduction cooldown.
Wild mushrooms & Wild mushroom bloom: Your mushrooms now heal instead of doing damage. This is a situational spell, since they don’t hit very hard. Only use wild mushrooms when nothing else is going on, and pre-place them (if the damage already happened, then you are better off just casting rejuv than trying to set up shrooms and bloom them). You want to set up shrooms on stack points if you have time prior to burst AOE phases. You can also stack them up before a pull (on things like heroic ultraxion).
Other spell changes:
Lifebloom: The duration of lifebloom is longer now (15 sec). The duration is still refreshed with direct heals. You can only have it on one target at a time, but for raiding when glyphed (glyph of lifebloom), your 3 stack of LB will swap to another person. For PvP purposes, a different glyph (Glyph of blooming) will shorten the duration and give you a bigger bloom.
Swiftmend: Now that the old talents are out, Efflorescence is now permanently attached to Swiftmend.
Mastery: We have the same Harmony mastery, but it now lasts long enough (20 seconds) that your swiftmend casts alone will keep it up, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the harmony timer anymore. If your harmony up-time is low, then you probably need to cast more swiftmend.
Rebirth: Now reses people with 60% health without a glyph, so the glyph isn’t mandatory.
Nature’s Cure: They re-named Remove Corruption for resto druids. Nature’s Cure removes curse, poison, and magic effects (all cleanses now have an 8 second cooldown)
Tree form changes: The tree form cooldown is now part of the incarnation talent, which is the best talent on that tier for resto (because this doubles as both a healing increase talent and a mana conservation talent). In addition, one of our new minor glyphs gives us back a cosmetic perma-tree form with the original tree graphic. It doesn’t provide any benefits other than changing how you look.
Overall healing style in 5.0: You won’t need to refresh lifebloom as much, and you won’t have to manage harmony quite as closely. This frees up some time for doing other things. Set up shrooms on stack points prior to a known burst AOE phase. You will need to reforge into more spirit on your gear or you will go out of mana quickly.