Noobkin to Boomkin: Cataclysm

This post was re-written for patch 4.3 on 2/13/2012. 

Important Note: Noobkin to Boomkin is a quickstart resource for moonkin raiding compiled from my favorite sites and theorycrafters. You’ll find links to all of these sites at the bottom of this page. If you really want to be a competitive moonkin raider, you need to read them.


If you want a straight spec to get started with, this will serve you decently:

Functional Raiding Spec:


Nature’s Grace – 3/3
Starlight Wrath – 3/3
Nature’s Majesty – 2/2
Genesis – 3/3
Balance of Power – 2/2
Euphoria – 2/2
Moonkin Form – 1/1
Typhoon – 1/1
Shooting Stars – 2/2
Owlkin Frenzy – 2/3
Gale Winds – 2/2
Solar Beam – 1/1
Dreamstate – 2/2
Force of Nature – 1/1
Sunfire – 1/1
Earth and Moon – 1/1
Fungal Growth – 2/2
Starfall – 1/1


Natural Shapeshifter – 2/2
Heart of the Wild – 3/3
Perseverance – 3/3
Master Shapeshifter – 1/1

Some talents are going to be situational, and some are going to cater to your playstyle more than others. If you would like to get the barebones spec and customize it, these are the most highly recommended talents:


Nature’s Grace
Starlight Wrath
Nature’s Majesty
Balance of Power
Moonkin form
Shooting Stars
Force of Nature
Earth and Moon


Natural Shapeshifter
Heart of the Wild
Master Shapeshifter

When following our normal single-target rotation, mana shouldn’t be much of an issue. If you find yourself having mana problems, though, hop over to the Feral tree and pick up Furor.


Prime Glyphs

Glyph of Moonfire

Glyph of Insect Swarm

Glyph of Wrath

Glyph of Starsurge is useful but  situational. Read up on it before you decide to choose it over Wrath.

Major Glyphs

Glyph of Rebirth

Glyph of Starfall

There are only two mandatory ones, so you’re going to pick one of the following. Personally, I think you should choose from either Glyph of Focus or Glyph of Solar Beam to start out with.

Glyph of Thorns has a specific use, so if you’re interested you’ll need to read about it first. You probably won’t be innervating other people often since you’ll prefer to innervate yourself for Dreamstate, so Glyph of Innervate isn’t that appealing.

Minor Glyphs

Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth

The minor glyphs are completely a matter of preference, but Unburdened Rebirth is the most useful. After that, choose two of the following: Glyph of Typhoon, Glyph of Dash, Glyph of Mark of the Wild.


I can’t stress enough that if you want to be truly competitive, you need to read, read, read and learn to maximize Eclipse. It is the single largest source of our DPS. Love it or hate it, we have to use it. Understanding Eclipse, managing it, and playing to it is priority 1.

That said, this will get you started.

Quick Start Single-Target Rotation

1. Open with Insect Swarm and Moonfire
2. Cast Starsurge
3. Cast Starfire until Solar Eclipse
4. Cast Wrath until Lunar Eclipse

If you’re just learning how to moonkin, focus on re-applying Insect Swarm and Moonfire/Sunfire when they fall off the target.

Cast Starsurge every time it comes off cooldown or when Shooting Stars procs, which removes its cooldown and makes it instant cast.

Use Starfall and Force of Nature when their cooldowns end.

Note on Force of Nature: Treants are buffed by Heroism/Bloodlust, but if you can get them out two or more times during the fight, don’t wait for it.

If you’re ready to start playing with Eclipse, here’s what changes:

–DoT Management

Instead of re-applying DoTs just every time they fall off, you should try to re-apply while you’re in an Eclipse state. You need a timer for this, there’s no getting around it. See Add-Ons at the bottom for suggestions.

If your DoTs are going to fall off during an Eclipse, perfect. Re-apply them. If they are going to fall off between Eclipses, you’ll need to re-apply just before you leave the Eclipse you’re currently in, even if they have time left on them.

This will require you having a familiarity with how long it takes you to get from one Eclipse to the next so that you’re not re-applying unnecessarily. You can calculate cast times, but your best bet is to go out there and practice with it until you can reasonably predict it 90% of the time.

–Starsurge & Starfall Planning

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) wait for an Eclipse to cast Starsurge. However, if you’re just a cast away from entering an Eclipse when Shooting Stars procs or Starsurge comes off cooldown, go ahead and cast Wrath/Starfire, hit the Eclipse, and then cast Starsurge.

Similarly with Starfall, if you can get Starfall casts to fall in line with Lunar Eclipse, do, but don’t hold off casting it for a long time just to get it into the Eclipse.


If you have more than one boss, or multiple mobs during a boss fight, apply Moonfire/Sunfire and Insect Swarm to all of them, preferably Eclipsed. A perfect example is the Blackhorn fight in Dragon Soul, where you can follow your normal rotation while you fight the dragons but also keep DoTs on the melee and sappers.

Pretty much if it moves and you’re allowed to DoT it, do.

AoE Rotation

 Our best AoE Rotation is a combination of AoE and multi-dotting.

1. Start in Solar Eclipse (or get to it as quickly as possible).
2. Wild Mushrooms
3. Sunfire…everything.
4. Repeat 2 & 3 until all you see are corpses.

Note: You can cast single-target and maintain Solar Eclipse by casting Starfire. Because Starfire only moves the bar towards Solar, it will allow you to sit there indefinitely. You don’t want to do this for too long, though; as casting Starfire on a single target during the wrong Eclipse is a dps loss.

Stat Priority

Intellect > Spirit/Hit to 17% > Haste > Mastery > Crit

Very simply, Intellect is our best stat. I see these as three categories: Intellect is in a class by itself. It’s the best. Spirit/Hit is also in a class by itself, because its value is necessary until you hit the cap, and then it’s useless.

Haste, Mastery, and Crit are your secondary stats, and Haste always comes above the other two, with Mastery coming in above Crit after that.

Gems, Enchants, & Reforging

I prefer to use WrathCalcs (Rawr is also useful) to determine how to gem, enchant, and reforge before I lay down a bunch of gold or mats, but these can be used as general guidelines.

Note: Remember to check your professions and make sure that you don’t have a better gem option (JC’s) or enchanting option (Enchanters, Leatherworkers, etc.) for your items.


Note: Don’t forget to put an Ebonsteel Belt Buckle on your belt before gemming.

Meta: Burning Shadowspirit Diamond

Red: Brilliant Inferno Ruby (or Queen’s Garnet, if you have it)

Yellow: If the socket bonus is less than +20 Intellect, Brilliant Inferno. If socket bonus is +20, Reckless Ember Topaz (or Lava Coral)

Blue: If the socket bonus is less than +20 Intellect, Brilliant Inferno. If the socket bonus is +20 or greater, Purified Demonseye.

Prismatic: Brilliant Inferno


WrathCalcs/Rawr is seriously helpful in getting this exactly where you want it, but here are some guidelines:

  • If you need hit, reforge Crit to Spirit/Hit first. If you still need hit, reforge some Mastery to Spirit/Hit until you reach the hit cap.
  • If you’re above the hit cap, reforge Spirit/Hit to Haste. If the piece already has Haste, reforge Spirit/Hit to Mastery. If the piece has Haste and Mastery—well, honestly, move on to a different piece.
  • If your hit is balanced, you can tweak with this: if a piece has Crit but not Haste, reforge Crit to Haste. If a piece has Crit and Haste, reforge Crit to Mastery.


Head: Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Chest: Peerless Stats
Back: Greater Intellect
Bracers: Mighty Intellect
Gloves: Haste
Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Boots: Lavawalker
Offhand: SuperiorIntellect

Don’t forget that if you’re an Enchanter, you can enchant your rings.


Add-ons are a matter of personal preference, but to make the most of your moonkin, you need some version of the following:

  • A DoT timer
  • A way to monitor Eclipse

Right now, I use NeedtoKnow to manage DoTs and cooldowns and Balance Power Tracker to monitor Eclipse, but poke around for what works best for you. Squawk and Awe, DoTimer, SexyCooldown, and Power Auras are all useful options.


As I said in the beginning, this is a collection of information designed to be quick start reference, not an end-all guide to raiding as a moonkin. If you want to learn advanced rotations, min/maxing, playstyles, and boss-specific strats, you need to check out these sites:

Elitist Jerks > Druids > [Balance] Cataclysm 4.3
WoW Insider: Shifting Perspectives
Gray Matter
The Moonkin Repository

For itemizing, consider using one of these:


Good luck and great dancing to you all. 🙂



Filed under Experiences, Information

21 responses to “Noobkin to Boomkin: Cataclysm

  1. Evelyn

    thanx, this is the easiest read on boomkin i have read in weeks thanx lolol!!

  2. Allen

    Howd u get so much hit and haste and ure in wotlk gear?

    • battlechicken

      The picture above is a cross over from my Pre-Cataclysm post and does not reflect my current gear or stats. You can check out the armory to see where I’m at now.

  3. Allen

    Ahh kk ty is 10 dps steady good for my boomy armory me my name is, tránsfòrmer, btw just got the feet

  4. Allen

    Oh did u armory me when i had mypvp gear on o.O

  5. Allen

    Hey another question, wat head meta slot shud i get
    shud i get the 3% max intel or 3% max total plz replay asap

    • battlechicken

      Until we get the new meta and/or Chaotic is fixed, my personal choice is Ember Skyflare since it has the straight +21 int. It’s not as good as getting 3% crit, but with Chaotic gemming a nightmare, it’ll work for now.

  6. Allen

    Yo i noticed that pre raid guide and i saw the hands but shudnt i get Flameboot Gloves or sumthin its a purple hand item from earthen ring quartermaster

  7. Allen

    Flameboom Gloves*

  8. Drew

    “The mathy type people say that Intellect is valued slightly higher than hit right now, but from my perspective, they seem about equal.”

    I’m not sure exactly what is meant by this statement, but I think it’s easy to misunderstand. Of course, you want to have hit cap, which is 17%, and since spirit gives mana regen, it’s better than hit (although hit also gives melee hit, which helps Treant dps).

    Int on the other hand gives Spell Power, Crit and increases max mana. So, Int is a lot better than just Spell Power, and I think it would make more sense to compare Intellect with Spell Power and Spirit with Hit.

    Also, timing Starfall with Lunar Eclipse can be a dps gain. And, I really wonder about your choice for boot enchants. Why lavawalker?

    • battlechicken

      Point 1: This isn’t about whether Intellect and Hit are the same thing. This is about how highly the stats are weighted. According to several sites (you can start with the list I provided in the post), Intellect is so powerful (for precisely the reasons you stated), that it might be weighted over Hit–basically that you would choose Intellect over Spirit/Hit (slash meaning “and/or’) in your gemming and enchanting. My personal opinion was that they are WEIGHTED about equally, not that they are identical stats.

      Point 2: Yes, Starfall with Lunar Eclipse can be a gain, but this is a down-and-dirty guide to moonkin, and the gain is minimal enough that I didn’t think adding that to the basic rotation was necessary for this particular guide. I would hope that anyone wishing to go deeper with their Moonkin dps would follow the links to Elitist Jerks, Shifting Perspectives, and Gray Matter–because that’s where I go.

      Point 3: As I state in the disclaimer at the bottom of my post, I am not a theorycrafter–I am a raider and a researcher. The choice of enchants come from Hamlet at ElitistJerks and Graylo at Gray Matter. They do the math; I read it, think through it for myself, and simplify it. The way I see it, if they’ve run the simulations and Lavawalker comes out on top, then that’s the choice to run with.

  9. Drew


    I just think Lavawalker is a waste, since it’s only 35 mastery, and you could get 50 mastery (a cheaper enchant), if mastery was better than haste. The movement speed increase isn’t a dps increase at all. I’d go with +50 haste instead of either of the mastery ones (even if EJ says the mastery, cause that same post says Haste > Mastery… I don’t see how 35 mastery is better than 50 haste).

    As for the Int vs. Spirit thing, I wonder if you’re saying not to bother with hit cap, and just to go with Int, or if you’re saying spirit/hit to cap is a top priority, then if you’re capped, Int is the best choice, or if you’re saying something different. I just found that a little ambiguous.

    Anyway, good guide 🙂

    • battlechicken

      Actually, it’s been repeatedly proven that the movement increase is the biggest boost to dps available for boots. Less time moving from one spot to another means more time dpsing. Remember, we’re dealing in incremental dps, and getting an extra Starfire off rather than spamming one more Moonfire while running into place is always going to be an increase. As a matter of fact, I’m guessing the reason that EJ and Graylo both chose this enchant is because the choices came down to which running speed increase would be better, and Mastery wins over Stamina every day of the week.

      That’s exactly the point being made–even if you’re not Hit capped, according to the mathy types, you should prioritize Intellect over Hit. Personally, I’m still stuck on the fact that if I’m missing the boss, I’m losing dps, which is why I see them as equal contenders.

  10. Dylan

    Hey i was just wondering if u have any idead about improving my dps i sit at 14k but guild rekons i should be doing 18 k hees my armoury cheers

    • battlechicken

      I don’t see anything glaringly wrong in your armory. I would suggest not worry about the socket bonus on your belt (10 spirit/hit is easy to make up elsewhere, usually, and Intellect is valued slightly higher than Hit, anyway) and change the Reckless to a Brilliant, but that’s hardly going to make up 4k dps.

      Are you doing 10s or 25s? You’re slightly better geared than I am, and I was doing ~17-18k on our 25 man bosses (not counting Halfus) and ~14-16k on most of our 10-mans. If you’re doing 25s, then yes, 18k is probably where you should be. If you’re doing 10s, 16-17k seems more likely.

      Do you do a lot of utility-type spells? Interrupts with Solar Beam, Roots, bandaging, healing? If you do and you’re not practiced at minimizing dps down time while you’re handling whatever else you’re doing, it might affect your dps. Double check your rotation, too. Are your DoTs ticking to their full extent? Are you Starsurging every time it’s off cooldown, even if Shooting Stars hasn’t procced yet?

      Also check your play style. Before I became a proficient strafer (and mouse-turner), my dps suffered more than it needed to during moving fights. Multi-dot where you can (dot everything in sight that you’re allowed to: i.e. Onyxia and Nefarian during P1 Nef, Theralion and Valiona, the Elemental Bosses in BoT, etc.).

      If you’re doing all of these things and your DPS doesn’t improve, try plugging yourself into WrathCalcs (available in the Elitist Jerks moonkin guide) and play with some reforging and enchanting options. Also, check out the links I provided at the end of my post for tips from some of the really REALLY good moonkin out there.

      Sorry it took so long for me to get back with you; this week has been a little harried! Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a line at druidambermist (at) gmail (dot) com!

  11. Pingback: An Explanation, An Adjustment, and A Patch | Tastes Like Battle Chicken

  12. Knuckleheadd

    Hi i was just let in to zandalari i have some bad gear but i just respecced from feral. Most of my gear was resto but i did 13k dps in feral but when i went balance i didnt even do 10k. I dont know why my dps dropped i just wanna know what i did wrong

  13. this is exactly what i needed to get going on my boomkin, thank you so much !

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