Moonkin Talents/Specs Discussion
In order to avoid massive the problem of massive megathreads where you have to sift through a lot of posts, which might be irrelevant to what you are looking for, I decided to create a thread dedicated to discussing Moonkin Talents only, with the emphasis on endgame and raiding.
The problem with a lot of talent discussions is that they usually become “What do you think of my spec?” and often focus on certain talents in isolation. What is lacking is the bigger picture, the comparison of various talents against each other.
So I made an attempt to try to provide a larger overview. I hope that this can stimulate discussion and provide some framework for it.
I tried to raise a lot of questions and I hope that over time we can come up with some answers and eventually get a quite detailed overview of Moonkin talents and their exact mechanics, as well as a sense of how they trade against each other.
I hope that other posters can correct my errors and fill the missing gaps. Please note that whilst I have started this thread and will try to continue to keep it updated as more information comes in, I do not take credit for its content as it has been compiled from contributions from the Elitist Jerks community (in this as well as previous threads). I would like to especially thank Adoriele and Erdluf.
2. "So what do I pick?"
The question we need to ask ourselves when picking talents is simple. Which talents provide the most DPS? The answer, of course, is much more complex. It's difficult to compare talents against each other, due to their very different mechanics and often not fully understood nature. The answer also depends on our rotations, gear, but most importantly the nature and mechanics of a particular fight.
Some talents will be very useful in most situations, others not so strong in a “general purpose” spec but very good in a
“specific purpose” spec for certain encounters. You should also keep in mind that the talents' effectiveness will vary depending on your gear level.
There are never any easy answers and a degree of personal testing will always be necessary to determine the talents suited best to the situation you find yourself in. Hopefully this thread will provide you with the necessary information to help you in making those decisions.
3. The Balance Tree
Starlight Wrath (5)
Cast time of Wrath and Starfire reduced by 0.1 sec per talent point/
A powerful talent and a must in any Moonkin build. It scales better with Wrath, however provides a significant damage increase to both of your main nukes.
1% damage increase on MF and IS per talent point.
This appears to be one of our weakest damage talents. Based on Adoriele's calculations here, it appears you get less than 0.2% DPS per talent point spent. It is very useful to Restoration Druids, however, who mainly use HoTs.
Mana cost of MF, SF, ST, W, HT, REJ, REG reduced by 3% per talent point.
Moonglow is our weakest mana regen talent (you can find approximate numbers calculated by Adoriele below) and based on the experience of raiding Moonkins, shared so far, you shouldn’t need to spend any points here (other than the point required to advance further down the tree, obviously).
Nature’s Majesty (2)
2% Wrath, Starfire, Starfall, Nourish, Healing Touch crit per talent point.
2% crit on your main nukes per talent point spent is one of the best investments you can make and a must in any Moonkin build.
Improved Moonfire (2)
5% MF damage and 5% MF crit increase per talent point.
As the initial MF damage is reduced by 90% by the [Glyph of Moonfire] (which I am assuming everyone uses when raiding), the value of this talent has decreased. The damage over time component does stack with the glyph but additively. Nevertheless, as taking Moonglow does not appear to be necessary for raiding, it seems picking this talent is advised. Also note that the increased crit chance increases your DPS regardless of the reduced initial damage by reducing the cast time of the following spell through Nature’s Grace.
5% Treants’ damage increase per talent point.
Treants deal considerable DPS now (Questions: How much exactly? How does it scale with our stats? What percentage of our DPS can we expect the Treants' to deal in a boss fight on average?), therefore this talent might be considered useful now in a raiding situation and not just in a solo/pvp environment.
However, it appears quite situational. You will only use them every 3 minutes (that’s if you remember to and if the situation allows) and they might not always live their full duration. Timing is very important. On bosses dealing lots of AOE damage, the returns from this talent will be reduced.
Still, it would be very interesting to see some calculations on what is the DPS increase per talent point spent, as WWS parses show Treants dealing a considerable percentage of Moonkins’ damage dealt.
Nature’s Grace (3)
Spell crits give you a 33/66/100% chance to reduce next spell’s cast time by 0.5 sec per talent point
Another staple Moonkin talent. Erdluf argues its value well below.
Nature’s Reach (2)
Range increased by 10% and threat reduced by 15% per talent point spent
Whilst threat does not appear to be an issue in raid instances available at the release of WLK, the developers have stated that it will become more significant later. And while you are usually safe on boss fights, it is still relatively easy to pull aggro in AOE/trash situations and in heroic instances. Increased range also helps on fights with AOE mechanics.
(I will continue to update the Balance talents section of this post soon. For now, please find the original version of the post below.)
“Recommended” Balance Talents
- Vengeance 5/5
- Insect Swarm 1/1
- Moonfury 3/3
- Balance of Power 2/2
- Moonkin Form 1/1 and Improved Moonkin Form 3/3
- Wrath of Cenarius 5/5
- Eclipse 1/3
- Force of Nature 1/1
- Earth and Moon 3/3
“Optional” Balance Talents
Nature’s Splendor (1)
Moonfire duration extended by 3 seconds, Insect Swarm duration extended by 2 seconds.
You will want to keep Moonfire up at all times, as well as Insect Swarm if you glyphed for it. As casting the DoTs makes you lose a Global Cooldown every X seconds, being able to cast them less often will increase your DPS.
Celestial Focus (3)
1% Haste per talent point (bosses are immune to the Stun effect but it can be helpful on trash).
At first sight, this talent appears to give a significant damage increase on all of your spells. Yet it doesn't seem very popular and I have seen it dropped from many builds. Dukes' suggested answer to that: Increasing your Haste by X% will increase your DPS but also mana consumption. Increasing your Crit by X%, on the other hand, will increase your DPS but also decrease your mana consumption thanks to mana returns from crits in Moonkin form. Hence potentially this talent could be stronger than Improved Insect Swarm (calculations need to be done to confirm that though).
Lunar Guidance (3)
Spellpower increased by 4% of total Intellect per talent point.
A very general estimate of how much DPS this talent will provide, thanks to Erdluf. Assuming you have 545 int, add Furor, Blessing of Kings, Improved Mark of the Wild and Arcane Brilliance and you get (545+51+60)*1.1*1.1 = 793 (that is assuming that the Furor and BoK multiply and are added after the additive bonuses, can somebody confirm that?). A point in LG would give you 31 Spellpower, which probably equals about 37 DPS (simulationcraft shows a point of Spellpower equal to 1.19 DPS).
Improved Insect Swarm (3)
1% damage increase on Wrath (if IS is up), 1% crit chance increase on Starfire (if MF is up) per talent point.
Converts 4/3/3% of Intellect into mp5 per talent point.
Our third most useful mana regen talent (behind Omen of Clarity and Intensity). As with all mana regen talents, take it if you find you’re running OOM. Skip otherwise.
Improved Faerie Fire (3)
1% Spell Hit on debuffed targets as well as 1% Crit to your spells, per talent point.
This talent would be very useful in a 10-man environment where a Shadow Priest might not always be present but in a 25-man raid it shouldn’t be necessary. We are still waiting for more calculations to be done to see if the increased crit chance applies when someone else (like a Feral Druid) applies FF. It it does, then this talent would be very useful (having a Feral Druid apply FF makes sense because it now generates considerable aggro for them). If it doesn’t, then taking it isn’t really worthwhile. For now, due to the absence of proof to the contrary, I will assume the latter but watch this space.
Owlkin Frenzy (3)
5% chance of receiving a 10 second buff increasing damage by 10% and removing pushback when attacked per talent point.
There is no internal cooldown, however it seems that not all damage effects will trigger it (some DoTs applied by bosses count as self damage). This ability seems very situational. Lots of bosses will cast AOE spells but aren’t you supposed to avoid them? The buff from this talent is also very random. First, you have to be targeted and hit by a mob's ability. Then, the talent has to proc. Taking this into account, it doesn’t look particularly beneficial compared to talents which are active at all times, in a general build. It would of course be very useful in a specific build designed for a boss that uses attacks affecting the entire raid or AOE spells which are virtually impossible to avoid (eg. Razuvius).
After Eclipse's effect has been doubled and the duration extended, the DPS returns from spending more talent points in it have increased significantly so spending two or three points in this talent does make sense now.
I do realise there is a number of players who would rather skip Eclipse due to preferred playstyle, however it has been proven here and here that Eclipse rotations have signifinicantly higher DPS).
Gale Winds (2)
The above talents increase your AOE capability, thus obviously helping on trash encounters. But how much do they help during boss fights? It appears that only 6 out of 14 boss encounters in Naxxramas will call for AOE spells to be used.
Therefore is it really worth spending 4 talent points on talents that you will only use part of the time when instead you could pick others that would affect your DPS always? Or will the significant DPS increase during the AOE encounters off-set the loss of DPS elsewhere?
Once switch specs are introduced, having an AOE/Trash spec and a General spec might be an idea. In the General spec, those four points could be dropped and applied to other talents.
So now we have all the talents listed above, the question is: Which ones provide the highest DPS increase?
It would be great too see some calculations so that we could very roughly rank the talents in order of the DPS contribution they provide. Of course, it would have to be very vague as it depends on many factors but a general ranking, with more in-depth specific comments could be very useful, I believe, as it would help to decide which talents to trade against which.
4. Restoration Tree
Improved Mark of the Wild (2)
MotW and GotW effects increased by 20% per talent point
Rank 9 MotW provides a significant buff therefore this talent is much more useful now, than it was in the past. It won’t be needed in 25-man raids where you are practically certain to have a Restoration Druid available, however it can be useful for 10-man raiding and heroic instances.
Nature’s Focus (3)
Pushback whilst casting Wrath (and various healing spells) reduced by 23/46/70% per talent point
An alternative to Imp MotW, it can help to reduce pushback on fights where boss mechanics mean you often receive damage. If you mainly, or exclusively, raid 25-mans than it might be a better choice.
Total intellect in Moonkin form increased by 2% per talent point
Increases your mana pool, critical chance and also the effect of other talents benefiting from Intellect, like Lunar Guidance or Dreamstate.
(Question: Is it additive or multiplicative with BoK?)
Master Shapeshifter (3)
Reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifting by 10% per talent point
Useful when shifting out to battle res or heal, however mostly taken in order to gain access to Master Shapeshifter and advance to the next tier.
Allows 10% of your mana regen to continue while casting per talent point
Our second most effective mana regen talent (you can find approximate numbers calculated by Adoriele below).
Omen of Clarity (1)
Each of your spells has a chance to reduce the cost of next spell by 100%
Whilst the exact proc chance is unknown, as far as I am aware, this talent has no cooldown and based on Adoriele’s calculations, it is our most effective mana regen talent by far.
Master Shapeshifter (2)
Spell damage in Moonkin form increased by 2% per talent point
A very considerable DPS increase per talent point spent.
All Tier 3 Restoration talents are extremely strong and definitely make it worthwhile to go that deep down in the tree. Whilst some people may dislike the idea of spending that many points here, based on the experience of raiders so far, OoC and Intensity alone are enough to cover your mana regen needs, especially in 25-man raids with all the buffs present (of course with mana regen talents, personal testing is always required to find the right balance that works for you). And you also get Master Shapeshifter as a bonus which is one of the biggest DPS increases per talent point spent, especially at high gear levels.
Improved Insect Swarm (3)
1% damage increase on Wrath and 1% crit chance increase on Starfire per talent point (assuming both MF and IS are up at all times).
This talent is only worth it if you’re glyphed for IS and keeping both DoTs up at all times. Otherwise it should be skipped.
I might not be aware of some massive math behind this, but I'm fairly sure you have mixed this up a bit. You get 3% increased wrath dmg whenever IS is up, and 3% crit on SF whenever MF is up. So common sense means you only keep up the one whose bonus you are after (this would be mf/sf or, in some twilight zone land, is&wrath).
A small tidbit: Its "global" cooldown, not general :p
Otherwise, good initiative, i'll be back :)
I believe BoK and Furor will multiply, and he still would get IMotW so he would go to (545+60+51)*1.1*1.1 = 793. A point in LG would give him 31 +spell, which is probably about 37 DPS (simulationcraft shows +spell giving 1.19 DPS). For that gear level, that is a solid (perhaps not quite mandatory) talent point.
Edit: At least for 25-man, IMotW is not mandatory. A resto druid will provide that, meaning your points there are wasted. If you put those points into Nature's Focus, you have at least a chance to get some benefit.
Good post though.
Ok, I'm not a number cruncher, but I've run a moonkin for a long time now and some of these 'must have' talents surprise me.
Improved GoTW - Why should the moonkin bother, I almost always have a tree with us in a 25 man run, and they have no use for furor so always take it. Instad I took Nature's Focus, which is situational, but in those times when bosses do an AoE, or any sort of group debuff it is nice to have no chance of interruption on wrath (with 3/3 and the glyph).
Nature's Grace - It applies to precisely 1 of our spells if you have the Starlight Wrath 5/5 (unless something has changed and it affects GCD now) Since every other Damage spell we have is limited by the GCD. Sure it is starfire, which is used a lot, but that slight difference in casting time just doesn't seem worth it for 3 points, instead take the haste.
Eclipse - I have yet to take this, it does seem like the benefit can be nice, but having to swap spells to get it working, and being limited to how many times it can happen in any boss fight (time limit) it does not seem worth it to me. Also what I do myself is I use a wrath trinket for trash or bosses I don't worry about mana for. And I use a starfire trinket for long boss fights. Since you can no longer hotswap trinkets (well you can, but run into that cooldown), that means you are not always using the spell that profits most from the trinket.
Force of Nature - it's a toy, it can do real DPS, but in order to do so it has to survive, and most bosses I've seen have a way to take them out long before they have run their course.
And ones I consider vital -
Moonglow - 9% reduction on casting cost for most of our spells for only 3 points. And mana is the big consideration, so this is huge.
Nature's Splendor - for 1 point I don't have to pay nearly as much attention to my DoT's. Right there it's worth it to me. And to boot it increases the damage by keeping the spell up longer.
Celestial focus - 3% increased haste. This applies to all our spells since spell haste does lower the GCD. So even our 'instacasts' that are limited by the 1.5 sec GCD profit from this. The stun is just a nice bonus for clearing trash.
I have not tried it in the new raiding, but I was 73, grouped with a 76 (both geared about the same), he pretty much exactly followed the spec listed here and I beat him by about 10% damage for a Violet Hold run.
Even if you never cast Wrath, expect your SF crit in a 25-man to be in the 40% to 60% range. An NG for SF is 20% haste, so for 3 talent points you are buying 8 to 12% haste for your most common cast. On an "overall" basis it is at least 5% haste for any SF rotation.
Eclipse: Even if you've got the "wrong" idol equipped, it's a DPS increase to switch on proc. The buff really is that powerful.
Moonglow: Sure, it's a good talent, and if you're hard-pressed for mana you can take it. But Dreamstate and Intensity are SO good, and especially when your crit rate is in the 40% range, you shouldn't be having mana issues anymore.
Celestial Focus: 3% haste is a good thing, no doubt, but point-for-point it's one of the weaker talents because it has no other dps-related side effects. Haste is good, but it's not so important that you can't drop one or more points in this talent to pick up something more powerful.
With regards to Insect Swarm, our highest DPS rotation uses both Wrath and Starfire. Furthermore, when glyphed for IS deals very high DPS and should be up at all times together with MF. So, the assumption I am making is:
- you are using Moonfire and Insect Swarm glyphs
- you are using Wrath (until Eclipse) > Starfire (until Eclipse cooldown is over) rotation
If both of the above apply, then Improved Insect Swarm is a useful talent. The question is: How useful compared with some other options?
The above spell rotation has been proven to be most beneficial so until somebody proves otherwise, it's the one to go for. However, not everyone will be using Glyph of Insect Swarm. Some raiders might opt for Glyph of Innervate instead to provide an Innervate for a healer (whilst getting its benefit yourself). In that case, the DPS value of Improved Insect Swarm is reduced as it would only affect your Starfire and not Wrath (when not glyphed for, you wouldn't be using Insect Swarm as its DPS wouldn't be high enough to be worth spending a global cooldown for it).
The original text did sound confusing, though, so I edited it slightly.
And yes - it's "Global Cooldown", of course. Thank you. Any other mistakes you notice, let me know and I will edit them.
I've also made it clear in the OP that the contents of the post should be credited to the Elitist Jerks community, as I am just compiling information.
Thank you for the Lunar Guidance numbers. I will look into this further (probably miscalculated the average starting Intellect value at 80) and edit the OP tomorrow. That does explain why it is a very worthwhile (if not mandatory) talent.
You are right about Improved Gift of the Wild. I corrected that line to "Imp GotW or Nature's Focus."
Nature's Focus is of course an option yes and I've corrected that. But why are you using Glyph of Wrath? In a raid environment you will sometimes suffer pushback but not at all times. Moonfire, Starfire and Insect Swarm Glyphs seem to have a clear edge as they will increase your DPS every time you cast those spells.
Nature's Grace - it applies to Wrath as well as explained by Erdluf.
Eclipse - If you look at the locked thread, you will find simulations showing that rotations using Eclipse have a clear DPS advantage over the ones not using it.
Force of Nature - Placement and timing is vital. In the last patch, the Treants' hit points and well as damage have been increased significantly and whilst I don't have precise numbers yet, very high DPS has been reported. As thedopefishlives said, it's definitely worth it for just one talent point.
Moonglow - Again, look at the locked thread. Adoriele's maths show Moonglow to be our weakest mana regen talent. They roughly rank: Intensity > Dreamstate or Omen of Clarity > Moonglow
And "I have beaten someone with spec X, therefore my spec is better" arguments are inconsequential as there are tons of variables (gear, skill, lag, etc.) to be taken into account.
So which "optional" talents would you consider stronger than Celestial Focus? (I am not disagreeing with you, just being curious)
Nature's Splendor and Lunar Guidance are probably stronger, anything else? I thought Improved Insect Swarm isn't (even assuming you have the IS Glyph) but I might be wrong.
AOE talents? That is a larger discussion I guess (How often will we use them? Will they make or break some fights? etc.)
If typoon has no damage cap like hurricane as suggested here, its damage potential is huge.
I know it's something that everyone needs to test personally but as I am still quite a while away from endgame content, I am wondering how many points in mana regen talents will be needed in order to perform comfortably during entry-level raids.
The reason I am musing about that is because when playing around with possible talent specs, I am finding it very hard to find any spare points for Dreamstate. There are just so many nice DPS talents to pick. Therefore, I am hoping that OoC, Intensity and Moonglow (3 points put into it to advance to tier 3 - Improved MF is not a very strong talent anyhow) will be enough to prevent mana issues.
- Changed some wording and formatting throughout and corrected some grammar errors.
- Linked to Adoriele's mana regen talent calculations and updated the info on OoC.
- Linked to Adoriele's and Erdluf's calculations on Eclipse rotations having superior DPS.
- Linked to Adoriele's Genesis calculations.
- Improved Moonfire - added information on how it stacks with the glyph.
- Corrected Dreamstate description. Confirmed as the third most useful mana regen talent.
- Lunar Guidance edited to add calculations by Erdluf.
Thanks for tall the information guys, keep it coming! :)
Some things in the beginning of the post are not accurate.
Owlkin Frenzy: Is actually 15% chance at 3 points; your statement is implying it's only 5% at 3 points (Which would make it virtually worthless).
Dreamstate: The MP5 is 4%/3%/3% for a total of 10% mana regen. The way you have it worded suggests 12% at 3 points.
IIS: Your observations on improved insect swarm are puzzling. Why would it only be worth it if you have both dots up? In any MF-SF only or Starfire heavy rotation this has very real value. Applying insect swarm at the beginning of an Eclipse-W proc can be a DPS increase if done fast enough as well.
On not taking aoe talents: Really what you have to ask yourself is if you're a team player. If your goal is solely to top single target DPS charts then by all means drop Gale Winds and Typhoon (To note: if your rotation is tight and you pay attention you can still do that anyway). You'll be doing your raid team a disservice on many encounters including trash clear time, however. Is that worth it to you? Not having Typhoon sacrifices our highest burst damage instant (Our only one with a glyphed moonfire) and lowers your ST dps on any fight with movement. In a ten-man raid you're almost certainly hurting overall raid performance by not being at highest effectiveness for aoe situations; in 25-man encounters you'll be passing the burden along to other DPS.
This has been covered several times in the mage thread, and I believe it was Roywyn that even posted it near the end of our wotlk thread: AoE's do have caps they're just not low enough to impact normal use.
I'm sorry Kuruk but I have a real issue with you making recommendations and guidelines about mana talent efficacy when you're stating you haven't even begun the content where they matter. What you're 'hoping' isn't actually helping at all. You're consistently stating you'll ignore DPS increase talents for marginal mana when dropping Typhoon to take more DPS talents. Typhoon is a -single target dps talent as well if you have to move even once in a fight (just engaging the boss and getting into position gives you a chance to toss it out). These statements fly in the face of mathematical calculations (Adoriele) and my own live raid situation that those things aren't necessary.
Currently I've had no real mana issues in Naxx-10 with OoC and 2/3 intensity as my only mana talents. I actually functioned perfectly fine with 0/3 intensity as well, but didn't like how close I was cutting it on aoe encounters. Your mana situation actually gets significantly better in a 25-man raid when you have the full complement of buffs and various mana sources. If you're referring to non-replenishment situations you may want to clarify that, but Adoriele's comments become even more true: your raid leader is doing something wrong.
On Lunar Guidance - my intellect currently is ~750 unbuffed, which is much larger than the 550 you state, with 2 pieces of Naxx 25 gear and the rest being mostly heroic stuff (with 2 pieces of sunwell gear still). Might be worth updating this for a more realistic heroic-geared value (around 750).
On IIS: I've taken it due to the crit effect on Starfire while Moonfire is up. You only need MF for the Starfire effect, or IS for the Wrath effect, not both for both.
On AoE talents: Both Typhoon and Starfall give you an additional instant attack, which is of great use while moving. With current regen, they may not be of amazing use, but Typhoon especially is an amazing AoE spell for clearing out things (for Naxx see Anub'rekan, Maexxna, and Gluth as direct examples, also useful on Gothik and KT and a lot of trash). Starfall is of great benefit when things are close together, but due to the cooldown I'd agree that it has the potential to be dropped. One of the advantages of Starfall however is that it does proc Natures Grace per star, which means if you cast it as you start moving, you're likely to have NG for when you next cast after you stop.
There is no internal cooldown on Owlkin Frenzy. As far as I can tell though, it doesn't proc off dots which count as self damage (some effects applied count as your own damage to yourself rather than a bosses damage).
The value of Natures Focus should be highlighted at least as a side point, as pushback can become an issue on some fights (Thaddius, I'm looking at you). By putting 3 points in this and having Concentration aura, you can completely eliminate pushback on Wrath.
Ignoring mana issues, 3% haste from CF is a 3% boost to your nuke DPS, and helps a little bit with your DoTs.
If your in-raid crit is already 50% for SF, then adding 3% more crit only pushes that to 153%, a 2% relative improvement. Even if you throw in CSD and NG, your nuke DPS increases by no more than 2.5%.
At 50% crit, and 3/3 Eclipse, another 3% crit will have very low impact on Eclipse uptime. There probably is a noticable impact for 1/3 Eclipse, but it is still below a 3% DPS boost.
The current Simulationcraft sample output says a point of "additive" haste is worth 0.92 DPS, while a point of crit is worth 0.57 DPS. Converting ratings to %, and I get 1% crit = 26 DPS, while 1% haste = 30 DPS. However, haste talents are multiplicative, not additive, so the gap would actually be a bit larger for talents.
Clearly, if mana is an issue, haste loses most of its appeal.
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