Balance druids, commonly known by many names including moonkins, boomkins, oomkins, and lazer chickens, have the potential to be awesome DPSers. Moonkin DPS is fairly simple to learn and use. With Cataclysm, moonkins were given a wealth of utility and CC options that really make us an excellent DPS class to have around. In this guide, I’ll be covering your gear, spec, rotation, addons, and utility spells. I’ll also include several videos that cover the same things discussed in the text, but in video format. Read on for your comprehensive guide to moonkin DPS!
Note: This guide will exclusively cover PvE DPS, and will not take PvP into consideration. That said, PvP-ers may want to have a look at the utility section, as many of the things I discuss there are relevant to PvP.
- Common Moonkin-Related Terms
- Color Code
- Talents, Glyphs, and Builds
- Rotation and Strategies
- Tips and Tricks
- Useful Macros
- Useful Addons
- Leveling as a Moonkin
- Keeping Up to Date
- Special Thanks
DoT – Damage Over Time
CC – Crowd Control, referring to abilities that help keep enemies from attacking the group
GCD – Global Cooldown (1.5 seconds normally, can be shortened through haste rating)
Res or Rez – Resurrection Spell
Spec – Specialization (talent, gear, and glyph choices)
Crit – Critical hit (twice the normal damage)
Moonkin, Boomkin, or Lazer Chicken – Balance spec, a druid specialized in ranged damage
Roll – To “roll” a buff means keeping it up constantly, usually without ever letting it’s time run out before refreshing it.
Fall off – A buff or debuff “falls off” when it’s time runs out.
Buff – Can refer either: (1) an in-game, helpful effect applied to a character, or (2) a change by the game designers that improves a class’ performance intended to improve game balance.
Debuff – An in-game, harmful effect applied to a character or enemy
Nerf – a change by the game designers that reduces a class’ performance, meant to improve game balance.
- Code and Addons
Talents and Glyphs allow moonkins to specialize, giving them several options including improved mana regeneration, AoE damage, and CC options. In this section I’ll cover in depth all talents and glyphs available to a druid, discuss their use, and then provide some sample builds.
I will discuss all talents in the balance tree and their relative usefulness, in addition to a few key talents from the restoration and feral trees. I won’t usually discuss specific numbers, since they are available on the tooltips – instead, I’ll translate what the talent does into the simplest terms I can, and explain how useful (or not useful) it is.
Many of the talents covered should be taken by all balance druids. I’ll mark these essential talents with a star.
Mouse over the talent’s picture to see a pop-up description of the talent, courtesy of Wowhead.
The first thing you’ll notice when you choose balance as a specialization is that your UI has changed. You now have a new type of power – lunar and solar power. When you cast wrath, your lunar power increases and your solar power is used up. When you cast Starfire, the opposite happens.
When you are full on one of the two powers, you enter an “eclipse state”, where spells of that type become more powerful.
You also have three other abilities that come with choosing balance as a specialization.
Moonfury essentially buffs all of your balance spells. Your spells will gain a 15% increase to their damage, as well as having their critical strike damage increased by 100%. This means your spells normally hit harder, and when you crit, it hits for twice the bonus damage of a normal crit.
Total Eclipse is your mastery ability. Based on your mastery, it increases your critical damage while you are in an eclipse state. Unfortunately, this is only in effect half the time, making mastery our weakest secondary stat. I’ll discuss this in more detail in the gearing section.
Nature’s Grace essentially gives you a haste buff every time you enter the eclipse state.