With 5.3 likely to come out in the next few weeks, I thought it might be helpful to write a recap of the 5.3 changes for resto & moonkin druids. Since this is still on the PTR, it is, of course, subject to change. The full PTR notes are available here.
We still don’t have an official release date, but I thought it would help to cover some of the changes in more detail.
- Both resto & moonkin benefit from general druid changes. First, Force of Nature is undergoing some changes in 5.3. It is now going to be one big tree (without a pet bar) that is a little bit smarter, and should chain-cast spells (instead of pausing so much). For moonkin, the casting of roots in PvE is still likely problematic. However, the resto druid version (that now casts swiftmend in addition to healing touch) is likely a more viable option than it was previously. As a “fire and forget” spell, now off the global cooldown, it may be worth trying out, especially for new players .
Balance 5.3 changes
- The main balance changes for 5.3 are really about PvP, with some solar beam changes.
- In addition, the glyph of Omens seems like it could be used to fish for eclipse procs in PvP situations. However, most of the utility spells that generate Eclipse energy with this glyph aren’t often used in PvE.
Restoration 5.3 changes
- Ironbark cooldown will be 1 minute instead of 2 minutes (the PvP set bonus change means that this won’t really impact PvP). This gives you the ability to sometimes cast this on non-tanks to save raid members from harm, rather than feeling forced to always save it for tanks. You can, alternatively, cast it more on the tank if that works best for the fight. The important part is that this should just generally be used more often to reduce the damage members of your raid are taking.
- For 25-man raids, Tranquility will hit 12 people. In 10-man, it will continue to hit 5 people. Several other AOE heals of other classes (such as the priest divine hymn) were changed to also have a different target number for 10 & 25-mans. This will help druids scale better for 25-man raiding, where a weakness of druids was that our tools were really limited in the number of people we could heal at a time in 25’s.
- Our “smart” heals will be smarter. One of the problems with smart heals was that they frequently targeted pets over players, leading to what looked like a lot of healing done, but was really wasted healing. So, now, these “smart” heals will now more consistently choose wounded raid members over their wounded pets. In addition, since pets should take a little less damage in raids, they won’t really be at risk of dieing. Note that if players are at full health, it will still do healing on the pets.
- The radius of Swiftmend‘s Efflorescence AOE effect has been increased to 10 yards. With how spread out people tend to be, this still will be used more often in melee on 10-mans. However, you now have a higher probability of hitting both your tank and melee for bosses with smaller hit-boxes. In addition, for ranged spread-out times, there is now an increased chance of having more people hit by Efflo (and given the 3 person limit, anyway, that’s not so bad).
- Wild Mushroom: Bloom was given two buffs. First, it has the same increase in radius to 10 yards that Swiftmend’s AOE got. Second, the baseline healing (and scaling with rejuv overhealing) was also increased. However, this doesn’t change the fundamental flaws that makes the ability feel more situational. That said, it will be worth using more often in times where you are likely to stack on one spot for AOE healing.
- It is also important to note that some of the problems druids are having is with how HOTs don’t play well with discipline and paladin absorbs. The paladin absorb mastery is targeted for a minor nerf for 5.3, which may indirectly help out druids to look better on meters. 😉
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.
Happy patch day Tuesday! Here are a list of some of the resources here at Restokin and other places to get you set up for Mists of Pandaria.
Restoration druid resources
Balance druid 5.0 resources
Feral druid 5.0 resources
Guardian (Bear tank) 5.0 resources
Resources for other classes
- 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).
- A list of other class guides are available at cannot be tamed (I don’t want to just copy & paste that list)
- Mage: Lhivera’s compendium. Use the menus on the lower left side of the screen to navigate between pages. Covers all mage specs (and not listed in the above list).
- Frost mages are viable for PvE now. MMO melting pot has a quick frost mage starter guide.
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!