From Noobkin to Boomkin

If you are looking to prepare your Moonkin for 4.0.1,

see Noobkin to Boomkin: Pre-Cataclysm.

This post was updated on 5/13/2010 for patch 3.3.3

I’m going to try to keep this pretty concise, because we are WoW players, and our short attention spans make Wall-o-Text the inconquerable boss.  I realized that I had gotten a bunch of new tips and tricks for myself without passing them on.  Granted, most of you probably already know this stuff, but just in case there’s a hapless, uninformed chump like me, I’m going to share.

The Basics

All of the tips I was going to pass on assume you already know a few things, so just in case, let’s review.

The Spec When I originally wrote this section, I usually looked up someone else’s spec and then tweaked it as needed (and that’s still a completely viable option–you can’t go wrong if you copy a spec from a good boomkin assuming you know how to play to its strengths), but now I understand things more and can share with you my preferred spec and how I would tweak it:

Starlight Wrath – 5/5
Moonglow – 1/3
Nature’s Majesty – 2/2
Improved Moonfire – 2/2
Nature’s Grace – 3/3
Nature’s Splendor – 1/1
Nature’s Reach – 2/2
Vegeance – 5/5
Celestial Focus – 3/3
Lunar Guidance – 3/3
Insect Swarm – 1/1
Improved Insect Swarm – 3/3
Moonfury – 3/3
Balance of Power – 2/2
Moonkin Form – 1/1
Improved Moonkin Form – 3/3
Improved Faerie Fire – 3/3
Wrath of Cenarius – 5/5
Eclipse – 3/3
Force of Nature – 1/1
Earth and Moon – 3/3
Starfall – 1/1

Improved Mark of the Wild – 2/2
Furor – 5/5
Natural Shapeshifter – 3/3
Master Shapeshifter – 2/2
Omen of Clarity – 1/1

There are 2 points left over from this spec.  If you have mana issues, spec into Intensity in the Resto tree.  If you don’t have mana issues, then choose from Brambles (increased Treant/Roots/Thorns damage) or the AoE talents (Typhoon and Gale Winds).

Glyphs:  Glyph of Starfall, Glyph of Moonfire, and Glyph of Starfire.  Prior to 3.3.3, Glyph of Insect Swarm took precedence over Starfall, but the Starfall buff we received in 3.3.3 makes the Starfall Glyph a better choice. You may still find that you prefer to glyph IS for some fights, and that’s fine.  The minors are pretty much optional, but I think every raiding druid should use Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth, and if you choose to spec Typhoon and DON’T want the knockback,  make sure one of them is Glyph of Typhoon.

The Rotation hasn’t changed too much since the last time I wrote this, but it’s just enough that I want to write it again. The basic idea is still FF/IS/MF>Wrath until Lunar Eclipse procs>Starfire until Wrath Eclipse procs. There are two things in particular, though, to think about:

  • DoTs: Apparently there’s been a bunch of discussion on whether or not DoTs are worth casting. The folks I trust believe that they are, and so do I. That said, I think it’s best to keep prioritizing Eclipses over DoTs. If either Eclipse is up, I let IS/MF fall and I don’t refresh them until the Eclipse completes. Even the damage bonus from DoTs seems to pale in comparison to getting in that extra cast or two of the Eclipsed spell.
  • Starfall: In general, you should plan to use Starfall on a boss fight every time it’s up. Don’t be dumb, though. Starfall during Blood Princes is still not a good idea. It won’t ever be a good idea when there are any mobs within its range from whom you should never get aggro (careful using Starfall in heroics!). There may also be fights where it’s beneficial to hold onto it for just a few more seconds past its cooldown (for instance, I usually don’t hit it as soon as we enter phase 2 Lich King; I wait for the Valks).

Squawk and Awe really, really helps.  Really.  Helps.  (It’s no longer mandatory, but it honestly is a great tool to keep you focused on the fight instead of babysitting Eclipse procs).

Boomkin AoE. Moonkin have three AoE spells: Hurricane, Typhoon, and Starfall. You can certainly just hurricane your way through heroic dungeon trash, and no one will care, as long as you’re being appropriate about your aggro. But if you want to know my personal strategery behind AoE pulls, here’s what I do:

When I’m not specced into Typhoon, I always do AoE pulls the exact same way, mostly because it’s reflex: moonfire the tank’s target, then Hurricane. I think I get about 2 or 3 Hurricane cycles completed before Moonfire wears off. If there are still more than 2 targets up, I Moonfire whichever one is highest on health (ctrl+v will show your enemy health bars above their heads) and then continue to Hurricane. Apart from trash pulls in ICC, this usually takes care of whatever’s left. If there’s still a straggler left standing, I’ll just Wrath him to death, as he’s usually under 50% by that point anyway.

If I am specced into Typhoon, then I throw a Typhoon in there before Hurricane the first time (except when I’m with guild tanks, in which case I’m not at all worried about threat and skip Moonfire altogether for the heck of it).

The Particulars

When I respecced moonkin, I had never raid dpsed.  Ever.  Sure, I leveled 70-80 moonkin, and I had dps alts, but I had always healed.  There were a lot of things I didn’t realize I needed to consider.  I received a lot of advice, and I’ve tweaked it along the way. Here are some bits and pieces:

It Takes Time As contrary as it is to our nature, don’t overanticipate keeping your DOTs refreshed.  MF and IS only tick for so long, and if you refresh them before they’ve ticked out, you’re losing dps.  Let them fall off before you refresh.

What Socket Bonus? Once you’re hit capped and your meta gem requirements are met, focus on accumulating spellpower.  Runed Cardinal Ruby is the one you really want, but if moonkin is not your primary raider or if you’re just into heroics and don’t want to put that much money into it, Runed Scarlet Ruby will do for a while.  Put aside your OCD and let those socket bonuses ride; stick those rubies in all your extra gem slots, regardless of color.

*Note:* If this is your main character or you really want to focus on itemizing as well as you possibly can, you should read part 3 of this guide before gemming to make sure you’re meeting all of your stat requirements, as you might occasionally have to gem for other stats.

For your meta gem, I highly recommend Chaotic Skyflare Diamond.  Use two Purified Dreadstones to achieve its requirements,  preferably in slots where they will help you get a bonus, since you have to do them anyway.

I ❤ TreesThere are two ways to go with trees. IF you’re going to have enough time to get the trees up twice, then pop them at the very beginning as you pull and again when the cooldown is up. If you DON’T have enough time to get them up twice, save them for Heroism/Bloodlust. Trees will be affected by Heroism if they are already up before the Heroism is popped (it’s nice if you can get someone to call it before they do it).

For instance, When we fight Marrowgar, I know that we are going to finish that fight well before my CD is up (I usually have at least 30 seconds to a minute left), so I try to wait until I know heroism is coming. Since we pop it right after the first Bone Storm, it’s pretty easy for me to predict.

On Putricide, however, I can get my trees up at least 3 times very easily, so waiting for Heroism (which we don’t pop until the second tank rotation in the third phase) would leave me missing out on some of their available dps.

It’s Dancy Dance Time There are LOTS of boss fights that require movement, and that’s tough on caster dps in general, and definitely on Moonkin. Try to plan carefully: if you know that Bone Storm is coming, go ahead and let your DoTs fall off while you get that last Wrath or Starfire cast in, and then you’ll have something to do while you’re moving. Refresh DoTs on the run, and if you’re specced into Typhoon, throw it at the boss while you’re on the move. The buff to Starfall also really helps with movement impairments.

Even if you’re not number one, do everything you can to stick your feathers up the butts of a few of your chart-topping dpsers and make them think twice about messing with the pure pwnage of their local Boomkin.  Go forth and noob no more!

For more Noobkin to Boomkin fun, parts 2 and 3 to this guide are available at Noobkin to Boomkin: Macros and Noobkin to Boomkin: Stats.



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26 responses to “From Noobkin to Boomkin

  1. Catastrophe

    Oh my. I only thought Eclipse worked through critting with Starfire it would increase Wraths damage.

    I only just dinged 80 so I haven’t raided making this mistake but while leveling I have been spamming Starfire until Eclipse then Wrath through Eclipse… Should I be Wrath’ing then Starfire through Eclipse?

    I only did it this way as I read spamming Wrath was mana inefficient, am I wrong?

  2. battlechicken

    When you’re leveling, that’s fine; it’s actually a little faster.

    Eclipse ( procs two ways. You have a 100% to proc a wrath eclipse (which increases the damage of your wrath by 60%) when you crit with Starfire, and a 60% chance of proccing a Starfire eclipse (which increases your crit chance with Starfire by 30%) when you crit with Wrath.

    The damage done during that 15 seconds of increased crit is significant, and while spamming wrath would be mana inefficient if that’s all you did, spamming wrath and then casting Starfire for 45 seconds (15 second eclipse + 30 second internal cooldown) is actually very mana efficient. I have never run out of mana on a boss fight; as a matter of fact, I never even think about it, which is why I’m trying to get my haste up to make a little more use of my bottomless well of mana.

    Stafire and wrath eclipse is okay for single target trash…wait, do we even have single target trash anymore? lol. But for bosses, MF/IS/Wrath through Eclipse and the cooldown definitely the rotation you want to use.

    Grats on 80 and good luck! 🙂

    • battlechicken

      I’m a noob, totally switched my numbers around. Wrath eclipse increases your Wrath damage by 20%. If it increased it by 60%, it might be well worth it! lol.

  3. Catastrophe

    Ooo thanks, I’ll try out using Wrath more often… I was getting fed up with the slow Starfire cast anyhow lol

    • battlechicken

      Then you’ll love the very rare heroism + Starfire eclipse. Very fast back-to-back crits. My regular Starfire eclipse crits are usually between 10-15k (nothing like big numbers popping up on your screen…oh so sexy), so you can imagine what they look like during heroism.

  4. Just wanted to say that Wrath isn’t nearly as mana inefficent as it was in TBC. When comparing single spell casts the mana on Crit mechanic helps Wrath significantly more then SF since wrath is a much short cast.

    Wrath is still fairly mana ineffecent at lower levels of gear, but as your Crit rate gets into the 40% range and your mana pool gets into the 21k range (levels reachable by just raiding Naxx), Wrath is much closer. In fact my guess is taht by the time we are clearing Icecrown Wrath will be more mana efficent then SF and IS unless the mechanic changes.

    From a damage stand point Wrath and SF are reatively similar also. The only thing that really separates them any more is that a Lunar Eclipse is much more mana effecent then solar eclipse. Other then that, it doesn’t matter much which rotation you choose.

  5. Barkey

    This guide is really helpful 🙂 Thanx for sharing.

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  7. Boomkin

    Super helpful post, thanks! I was looking for some information that was applicable to patch 3.3. =)

    • battlechicken

      Glad it helped! I had such a problem finding quick, simple information for non-pro moonkin when I started Noobkin to Boomkin that I really try to keep it up-to-date.

  8. Teehee

    you misspelled your in the I ❤ Trees section.
    This helped a lot with my moonkin.

  9. Thanks. My alt will be boomkin/resto.

  10. Inimicus

    Hey, I recently started dpsing with my boomkin and was( through pure luck ) using the correct method( put on dots/spam wrath until eclipse proc’d etc ), but then I had some people I was grouping with yelling at me for not using hurricane. Is there a reason you don’t recommend hurricane as a cast against large groups of enemies? I know it isn’t very mana efficient against one or 2, but 3 or 4? Once I started casting it I started running into mana management issues( not many as I usually still have plenty of mana ), but definitely noticeable. Any thoughts?

    • battlechicken

      I’m sorry, I guess I should’ve have listed this in the guide; I’ll be sure to modify it. 🙂

      Absolutely, Hurricane is your main AoE spell. This guide was mainly written with raid bosses in mind, so I didn’t think about AoE stuff. For 2 mobs, I generally just do a loose rotation, DoTs on both as long as it’s not going to hurt me on aggro or break CC and then cast at the tank’s target.

      For 3+ mobs, I hit one with Moonfire (sometimes 2 or 3 if I’m having to move somewhere) and then Hurricane. It does eat mana, but that’s what Innervate’s for. Besides, if you’re on trash or in a heroic, you can occasionally pause and drink if you need to.

      Hope that clears that up!

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    • Rudid

      Basically the same spec i am; i also never run out of mana and im tired of being in raids where i end fights at 80%+ mana. Giving away innervates is good and all but most of the people in my raid never want them so i say hell with it… take away the full moonglow all together and let me get down to 30% or so… it will boost my dps up from 8.5k to aproxx 9k with the 2set t10 and the new spec; i took the spec from this website and did little tweeking of my own ty 😀

  12. Thinmints

    I’ve noticed that there is, in almost every fight in ICC, raid damage that I take. Would you think Owlkin Frenzy to be viable in a raid enviornment with the constant damage we take in most fights?? 15% additional damage, just a thought.


    • battlechicken

      I’ve never personally used Owlkin Frenzy for PvE, but I know plenty of people who do. There’s always those 2 or so points left in the standard spec (the ones I usually put in Brambles or Gale Winds/Typhoon), and it would be perfectly acceptable to move those 2 points to Owlkin Frenzy (and you can poke around for another point to switch if you want to max it out) and see if you see an increase.

      Those 2 points left over are like play points. The change they’ll make to your DPS is not going to be so drastic that you’ll suddenly smoke the meters (or drop to the bottom). You might notice one talent doing slightly more damage than another, and if you’re min/maxing, you’ll want to choose that talent, but it’s certainly okay to play around within them!

      If OF intrigues you, go for it! Try it in a raid one night (I don’t know how far into ICC you are, but if you have a clear night where you kill a bunch of bosses, that’d be a great testing setup) and see what you think. If you test it, come back and tell me what you think of it!

  13. Okay well hate to tell you this but your points into Moonglow – 1/3 are useless boomkins do not have mana problems if you do your doin something wrong This spec is clearly not gettin the most out of dps your not putting one point into Gemesis and and you do not have one point into owlkin Frenzy Considering I pull 14-15k dps this is not a spec i would recomend for anyone and i suggest that before you start making a post about boomkins you know exactly what your talking about . Considering your speced into improved IS and your letting it fall off you clearly have not read the talent I read above you never put points into owlkin frenzy so u do not like gettin a 10% damage increased for 50% of every fight seems like your nerfing your dps dont wana sound like a prick here but I would like too see what you responses are to these words also your stats page is wrong all good boomkins know that you should not stack straight so if you are breaking 3.1 none boomkins form the crit/sp gems if your not crit capped and and haste/sp gems if ur crit capped please get back to me as soon as you can sorry about how long this is but you have left alot of caps open in this and you should be leading other people down the path if you wish to see my spec

    • battlechicken

      First of all, invest in an Enter key, it would make reading your post a lot easier.

      Point by point:

      –In regards to Genesis: I check my information against Graylo frequently. He is not regarded as one of the best moonkin theorycrafters out there for no reason. To quote from his post about basics: “Genesis – A horrible Moonkin talent. It is really a way for restos to start the balance tree.” You can find that link here: He also notes his opinion on Moonglow there, as you’ll see.

      –Owlkin Frenzy: I’ve considered speccing into it many times, actually. My problem with it, as well as many other moonkin, is that it is situational at best. While there are many fights in which you take damage, the object is generally to try to avoid that as much as possible. OF is an optional talent; a good way to spend the two left over points if Brambles or GaleWinds/Typhoon leave you high and dry. You’ll find a great discussion on that here:

      –Stats: If you had completely read my blog, you would have seen that I point out that druids who are trying to min/max should check out Part 3: Stats because sometimes you need to gem for what you don’t have. This guide was put in place for new moonkin just learning their class or for those, like me, who spec switched and are trying to get their bearings straight. Gemming spellpower is a good starting point until you understand your stats and class.

      –As for damage, I’m not sure where you’re getting your numbers. I compared World of Logs over several different boss fights on different days between you, myself, and another moonkin. Most of our numbers were similar; there are a few fights where you or he grossly out-dpsed me, and I’m willing to look into that to see if there’s something I’m doing differently or if our raids are somehow set up differently.

      –Checking again two or three days of 25 man fights, I find that your average Starfire crit is around 20-25k. Mine also fall in this range.

      If you’re interested in comparing, here’s a fight I pulled out because it’s one of the few where I could find both of us had been involved on the same level (normal/heroic):

      Here is your performance on Lady Deathwhisper Normal on July the 6th:

      You did 13.7k dps, and your average Starfire crit ( is 24k.

      Here is my performance on Lady Deathwhisper Normal one month ago, June the 8th:

      I did 11.9k dps, and my average Starfire crit ( is 20.7k.

      I’ll agree that you outdpsed me, but I don’t know enough about your raid composition or how you play to know if we can blame spec or stats for this. I notice that you had only 2.8% damage to Cult Fanatics whereas I had 5.4%. The fact that I spent time away from the boss helping with adds and Cycloning MC’d people might have something to do with the difference in numbers.

      Regardless, your numbers aren’t quite what you made them out to be.

      By the way, anyone who has read my blog at all knows that I never claimed to know everything about moonkin. In fact, I very clearly state many, many times that I do not. I come to offer advice as I learn it for myself, and this post alone has gone through 5 different versions in the past year.

  14. One more thing your only doin 15k starfires? mine are 36ks in icc with the buff that is big numbers

  15. Maladis

    I know a lot has changed since cata has came out but I totally disagree with a lot you have to say. If you only typhoon, hurricane, and starfall you will have the lowest dps on every 5 man 10 man 25 man. The only way to drop da bad guys is by casting Starsurge now followed by moonfire, and insect swarm then you 75% of the time get an instant starsurge then follow your Lunar, and Solor eclipses. Yes boss fights always lay down starfall and don’t aggro also your force of nature your treants lay them up and start casting away you will have the #1 dps everytime depending if your smart enough to always carry a food buff in every instance or raid!! From your oom Maladis proudmore realm

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