If you are looking to prepare your Moonkin for 4.0.1,
Updated 5/14/2010 for Patch 3.3.3.
Do you remember those baby toys with the stacking rings? It’s a perfect visual for stacking stats. The stats with the biggest benefit to your damage must come first, and then each stat gets sequentially smaller.
Just in case I have any newbs (the new-to-the-game kind, not the idiot kind), this will be Newb Moment Number 1: What They Are. Stats (yes, it really is short for “statistics.” there is math in WoW, but it hasn’t stopped me from playing yet) are the basic building blocks to your abilities.
Newb Moment Number 2: What They Do
Bonus Damage: Exactly what you think it does. It increases the base damage amount of your spells.
Hit: Hit rating tells you how likely you are to hit a target 3 levels above you. 26.32 hit rating = 1% hit. 17% is hit capped, but I’ll go more into that below.
Haste: Increases the speed at which your spells cast by a percentage determined by your haste rating.
Crit Chance: Describes the percentage at which you can expect critical hits. More critical strike rating = higher percentage = more frequent crits.
Intellect: Increases your mana and critical strike chance.
Spirit: Increases mana regeneration.
Important difference between intellect and spirit: Intellect increases the amount of mana you START with, and for most casters, this is the most important mana-related stat. Spirit, on the other hand, determines how fast your mana regenerates, and therefore is extremely useful for healers.
Due to the way WotLK has blurred the lines on exclusively healer versus exclusively caster dps items, Spirit is still a significant stat for a lot of classes, including, to some extent, moonkin. But Intellect and Spirit come on the gear you’re likely to choose anyway, so don’t try to stack them specifically. I’ve left them off the illustration below because they are not stats you need to try to acquire; if you’re wearing moonkin gear, they will be there.
Okay, that being covered, let me give you an illustration of moonkin stacking:
Let’s go a little more into detail about why I chose this order.
Hit is worth more than spell damage for one very simple reason: spell damage is useless if the spell misses. You need to work on accumulating hit until you’re hit capped. You are hit capped when adding any more hit would be useless, and that number varies with a couple of things.
The hit cap is 17% for spellcasters. That sounds like a lot (and it is), but thankfully our talents and raid buffs help make that number a little easier to obtain.
Spec into Balance of Power (this is a must, even if you don’t use the spec I provided in Part 1), as this will give you 4% additional hit. That drops the percentage you need to acquire down to 13%. See? It’s already getting easier.
Spec into Improved Faerie Fire. Not only does it give you a constant 3% buff for 5 whole minutes (which is longer than most boss fights), it also increases your likeliness to hit by 3%. Now you’re looking at only needing 10% hit. Nice, huh?
And if you have a draenei in your group, that will give you another 1% hit. Don’t count on this, though, unless it’s a recurring pattern. Our raid leader sets our raids up so that all DPSers have a draenei in their group, but that can’t always be the case.
Bottom Line: Most heroic-raiding moonkin will need 10% hit (that’s 263 hit rating) to be hit capped.
This is pretty easily understood, but since I made a ring for it, I guess I’ll say something about it. Hit can only take you so far. Once you’re capped, it’s value drops to below zero, and since you’re no frost mage (har har), you won’t need to go there. Spellpower is going to be the stat nearest and dearest to your heart now. More spell damage = more pwnage. It’s simple. It comes with gear, and if you’re hit capped, you should be filling in gem slots with it.
Bottom Line: Spell damage = win.
HASTE & CRIT
Haste is super valuable, to a point. Haste effects how fast your spells cast, and if you cast faster then more spells hit the target and that equals more damage.
However (you knew there was one), the Global Cooldown (GCD) of all spells can never be shorter than 1 second. For this reason, having any of your main spells casting at less than 1 second is a waste, because you’ll still have to wait on the GCD before you can cast again. If you’ve played Balance at all, you know that Wrath is already a pretty short cast time.
If you’re somehow in a raid without a shaman (no shaman?! noooo!) dropping Wrath of Air totem, the soft cap (the point at which your Wrath spells are casting at 1 second) is 585 haste.
With Wrath of Air (most 25-man raids have this, but double check with your raiding shaman or raid leaders if you’re not sure), your haste cap is 400.
Once you’re haste capped, then you’ll want to focus on accumulating crit. Crit also has a cap, but you won’t see it until you’re in ICC gear, and it’s hard to give you a specific number to shoot for. If you’ve hit the haste cap and you’re choosing ICC-level gear, you’ll probably want to figure out your Lunar crit cap. Once you’re capped on both (yes, it happens; I’m currently both haste and Lunar crit capped) then the rating values return to spellpower>haste>crit, with haste being valued above crit as long as you stay above your Lunar crit cap.
*A note on gemming:* In Noobkin to Boomkin, I advised you to put spellpower gems in all your sockets and let the bonuses ride. This is still mostly true, but if you’re getting ICC-level gear, you’re going to start noticing some larger spellpower bonuses on your gear. If you have an item with +7 or +9 spellpower socket bonus, do some quick addition and figure out which will be more dps: filling the sockets and getting the bonus or going with pure spellpower.
Bottom line: Get your haste to 400 and then focus on crit until you reach the cap.
One more note about stats: Stats are liquid. They change with every piece of gear, every enchant, and every gem. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that once you’re capped in something, you’ll always be capped. It’s totally possible to be hit capped one minute, equip a new item, and be under hit cap. Or you could go overboard with the haste and end up losing your Lunar crit cap.
Managing this is a constant balancing act. You might find that an upgrade is awesome, but that you need to throw a hit gem in it to keep from losing your hit cap, or you might need to swap out trinkets here and there to meet different caps. Every time you make a change to your gear, look over your stats again. Are you still hit capped? Haste capped? How high is your crit? Don’t get carried away and put so much weight one one stat that you ignore others–you’re a moonkin, balance is what you’re all about!