A new patch has been found by both MMO-champion and WOWhead. It looks like moonkin are getting a substantial DPS buff (9% to wrath, starfire, & Starsurge). There are also adjustments to mages (a 23% buff to frostbolt for frost mages – which addresses some of my concerns about frost mage damage for the next patch) and also buffs to several other classes. In general, the patch notes really look like:
(except for arcane mages, though, since their stand-still damage came out too high. Also, thank you to whoever added this to the meme generator, lol).
That out of the way, it looks like the 5.2 patch is shaping up to overall be a net positive for Moonkin and Restoration druids. With the patch going live in a few weeks, things are really looking good for my feathered and leafy friends. I will have my 5.2 healing guide updates (along with any important updates for the leveling guide) ready to go on patch day.
Icy Veins has guides for most classes. Though, blogs specific to certain classes are more likely to have more complete information about things like rotations (and some guides may be better than others).
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).
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.