Regional Flag[PvP] Big Moonkin PVP GuideSource
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#0 - 2009/07/10 04:19:29 PM

1. Introduction
2. Playstyle
3. Damage
4. Healing
5. Crowd control
6. Gear and spec
7. Strategies
    Death knight

8. Limitations and weaknesses
9. Upcoming changes
10. Final notes

1. Introduction

Hello there. Firstly, I'd just like to point out that this guide is aimed more at people who are interested in taking up the mookin cause or are struggling with it slightly, as opposed to pro's. Secondly I still stick by my beliefs that moonkins are vastly inferior in PvP in comparison to most others, I sincerely believe it is one of the weakest PvP specs in the game, but as with all it is has the potential to do well in the right hands! Despite my beliefs I'll refrain from stating how underpowered we are throughout this guide, instead I'll reserve a special section for weaknesses and limitations. In addition, this is mostly aimed at moonkins intending to: Duel, world-pvp, or 2v2 [although a lot of elements of this will apply to other areas of PvP as well, including higher brackets] With that out of the way, let's get on with it!

So what makes moonkins what they are? Moonkins are supposed to be a) Durable [That is to say, they can withstand a lot of damage compared with other casters, i.e moonkin form armor and barkskin] b) Mobile [aside from being able to withstand damage when we do get hit, we are designed with the intention of not being hit or hit as often, i.e. travel form, polymorph immunity, shapeshifting removing snares] and finally c) Flexible [being able to dish out a mix of damage, healing and control] All of these elements should make the moonkin a formidable (albeit unfortunately daft looking) opponent.

2. Playstyle

So what is our playstyle? Well, previously in vanilla, druids as a whole played in a much more hybrid-esque style, utilizing all aspects of our capacity. Through TBC and into wotlk, the evolution of
talent tree's has prevented such a style of hybrid playing, as the important talents in other trees are too deep down, and the talents that we cannot afford to lose-out on are too far rooted in the balance tree these days we are forced into a particular role and have to play in a style that reflects our talent choice and desired role. Below are the styles most commonly adapted by moonkins in arena, duels and world pvp.

    * Offensive style: This style tends to emphasize the potential burst capability of a chubby lazerowl. This style tends to ignore (or rather, to a greater extent) a defensive style, as such those who've mastered this style are generally quite comfortable with their team-mate(s) sitting at 40% hp with a DPSer on them, because they are probably aware that with their style and the circumstances they are capable of getting the opponent down before the opponent downs them. The calculated use of cooldowns such as trinkets, force of nature, starfall, and an adorable Wrath of Elune proc during a lunar eclipse can provide a substantial amount of burst, particularly when you have a teammate who is also attacking your current target while the second enemy is controlled. The potential weakness of this style, is that as it plays far more wrecklessly by allowing itself and it's teammate to drop reasonably low in order to get off that extra dps, is that if something unforseen occurs whereby you didn't get the intended target down, you could be in for a world of hurt (Picture you in a 2v2 where you both are at 50%hp because you sacrificed healing time to nuke down the enemy healer, thinking you'd have it while his warrior buddy was CC'd, but he somehow survived, and now you have a warrior bladestorming you both 50% -> 0.)

    * Defensive style: This style is far more hybridized than the offensive style, it tends to emphasize the utilisation of your damage, control and healing capability to overwhelm the opponent. When utilizing this style you tend to spend a lot of time healing and CCing, generally more so than DPSing. The intention here is to wear down your opponents, using calculated and well-timed target switches to shock your opponents, particularly when facing a healer team, healers are generally unprepared for a fast switch or an unexpected CC, this can be fatal.. The biggest weakness of this style however, is that you are neither a great healer nor a great aid to your damage-dealing buddy, you are defenseless while healing, and you will not outlast another healing team's mana pool, particularly if it's a resto druid or disc priest (especially a disc priest, dispel innervate and mana burn is not a fun experience)

Choosing a playstyle is dependent on many different factors, including your partner; (e.g. if you roll with a healer [always a bad decision in 2's as boomkin] or another hybrid, you'd go all out offensive, whereas if you went with a squishy partner, say a warlock or a rogue, you'd play more defensively) your own personal preferences etc. Choose what you feel right, in fact you may even find sometimes that you switch playstyles mid-fight, or play differently depending on what you come up against.. For example, when I come up against a ret / dpser, or dk / healer, i play very defensively because I cannot afford to allow my teammate to go below a certain health threshold because it's possible they could die very quickly during a silence / stun.. but on teams where healing is not exactly optimal, say bm hunter / ret teams, facerolling all your CD's tends to be the only way because CCing is not particularly possible, MS effects destroy our healing capability, and in that case it comes down to who can kill who first. And potentially a moonkin has a greater shot at burst damage than a BM hunter.

3. Damage

So lets take a look at our damaging capabilities.

Wrath, moonfire, insect swarm, faerie fire(it helps for trees + melee partner), starfire, starfall, Force of nature, typhoon.

    Wrath will be your primary nuke here, against a target with high resilience it'll do very little damage, it's a rather poor nuke and with the changes in 3.2 it might become less so, but it's quick and allows for activating lunar eclipse

    Moonfire is very mana costly, it is much better to hit and allow for the dot to tick to make use of the mana you paid for it (never glyph MF) however, if your target is at range and running away, it can be pretty useful to spam to finish a target off if it is around the 10-15% mark, if it is a healer however it's better to conserve your mana for when they are closer and you are capable of doing actual damage.

    Insect swarm is very good for it's mana, especially if you glyph it (I personally don't) it assists with the DPS, it's cheap, and against a dispeller it's another GCD and load of mana they tend to spend dispelling it (and against poorly played teams, you'll be surprised how many sit there spamming dispel which is far more costly than insect swarm)

    Faerie fire is just an all around good ability, it prevents any stealth action from a rogue or druid (exception CloS -> vanish) Next patch however it won't prevent mages going invis.. It does also decrease the opponents armor by 5% (which also affects arpen) thereby increasing any melee dps done to it, very handy if you roll with a melee DPS, and still pretty handy for use with trees.

    Starfire is a situational ability really, it is a long cast and so leaves you very vulnerable to interrupts and silence effects, it's best to be used when your opponent is at long range, or your opponents are ignoring you. Also is great for some burst potential if you have lunar eclipse active and you get the 4-piece balance PVP proc "Wrath of elune". Another use for this will be discussed further on.

    Starfall is a tricky spell, it's a great cast and forget spell with reasonable damage (particularly if both your targets are stacked) however the problem occurs that it is costly, vulnerable to be locked down, and unless glyphed a lengthy cd. Another big problem with it is that it breaks CC's, if a target is rooted it will break, if target is sapped, blinded, polymorphed or seduced, it will break. It's much better to coordinate with your teammember on when to use this, and make sure that such CD's and CC's are used seperately to avoid wastage and a potentially nasty situation.

    Force of Nature is a nice tool for damaging, particularly on casters as not only does it have spell pushback, it does fairly decent dps (they hit for about 600 each when I tested them on my rogue buddy, excl. crits) however it is a lengthy cooldown and they are easily killed. These also can also give a psychological advantage. It sounds odd I know, but many casters have a very anti-melee sentiment, and to suddenly have 3 rather large trees chasing and hitting you, it can put you off your game. It's also an advantage mechanic-wise, I've seen numerous people accidentally target the treants instead of me or my teammate, for example in a game just last week, an elemental shaman was in a position to burst me down quite quickly after his rogue partner had just died, but he must have accidentally targeted a tree and cast hex on the tree instead of me as I was just casting a heal. Strategies for using these effectively will be discussed later.

    Typhoon is a mixed blessing, there have been many games where it has saved us, on a few particular maps it can give us an amazing advantage, it can be used to interupt heals or casts if your close enough etc

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#52 - 2009/07/15 10:52:14 AM
This thread has been added to the Guide Collection atop the Druid forum :-)