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How to shred your way to the top of the charts:
This guide is meant to teach you the finer points of how to play a feral druid in 6.0. We will be looking into all aspects of the spec. Things like rotations, fight awareness, talent choices and cooldown usage will all be discussed. Feel free to follow along and perhaps you too will find yourself at the top of damage charts. /shrug
*These do not detail specific encounter situations or cooldown usage (please refer to advanced section for those)
As a combo point based class, the goal is to efficiently cycle through a rotation of combo points. This puts our skills into 2 different categories.
1) Combo Point Builders
2) Combo Point Finishers
b. Savage Roar (SR)
c. Ferocious Bite (FB)
Before an ability is used, a few questions need to be asked. I’ll be presenting these questions in the form of flowcharts. The first of these questions would be:
If we were to evaluate a combo point builder (no answer) our question would be:
For a combo point finisher (yes answer) another question would be:
As you practice using these questions, you will find the rotation to be repeating through a cycle. The cycle that you should be noticing is:
Savage Roar – Rip – Savage Roar – Rip – Savage Roar – Rip
This is the simplest form of the feral rotation. Alternate your finishers between Savage Roar and Rip while maintaining the Rake bleed. There will be very few times that you will have excess combo points to use for Ferocious Bite. This is completely normal. It is also normal to find yourself waiting for energy to regenerate (see energy pooling section). While frustrating at times, you should never feel rushed while performing your characters abilities. Try not to spam your buttons. If Rake, Rip and SR all have plenty of time on them, why are you furiously hitting Shred? Be patient! Instead of hitting Shred as soon as 40 energy is available, wait until 50 or even 60. You will find the pace to be more enjoyable and have less chance at carpel tunnel syndrome.
Before reading on about cooldown (CD) usage, talent modifiers, bleed strengths and openers, PLEASE make sure you are comfortable performing the basic rotation on a target dummy. The more you practice this and it becomes engrained in your memory, the easier it will be to perform during a raid encounter (on the move while distracted). If you can’t keep 95% or more uptime on your bleeds while standing still, how do you plan to do it while in a raid? It also helps you become familiar with the time it takes to generate a set of 5 combo points.
Single Target Topping Damage:
There are a few extra rules to follow when you want to be on the top of single target damage. We can now start looking a bit further into limiting factors. First, I will mention the best single target damage talents. For T4 and T7 you should have selected Incarnation and Bloodtalons, respectively.
Above and beyond the basic rotation, the first thing you should begin to add is using your cooldowns. Fortunately, Feral does not have a plethora to choose from; therefore it does not add much complication to our rotation.
Tiger's Fury (TF) can be used every 30 seconds and should be used every time it is available. TF is a snapshotting ability, meaning that its effects (15% increased damage) will continue on your bleeds. Thus, you should apply both Rip and Rake while under the effect of TF. In addition to the extra damage, TF also grants you 60 energy on use (and can be used during Berserk), so you should only wait to use this when you are below 40 energy.
Berserk reduces the cost of all spells by 50%. This is where you will find yourself using most of your FB’s. Like TF, you should be using this ability every time it is available.
The Bloodtalons (BT) talent functions exactly how DoC did previously in MoP. Both BT and TF still use snapshotting and you should take advantage of this. Optimally, when you have a Predatory Swiftness (PS) proc and have obtained 4 cp’s, you should cast Healing Touch (HT) and TF. Then you will proceed to apply Rake followed by a Rip. This will again grant you another PS proc and thus 2 more BT charges when you cast HT. To increase the overall uptime of BT/TF buffed Rake, you will re-apply Rake before TF expires.
Incarnation increases damage and allows abilities used in stealth (the Rake perk @lvl100). This CD should be synced with Berserk for optimal damage.
Another factor we must consider is time. That is the time till death (TTD) of the target. TTD will tell us exactly how much energy we will have for the given fight length.
If you take the TTD and divide it by the various lengths of your cooldowns (CDs), the whole number plus one is how many times you should be able to use it throughout the fight. For instance, if Iron Juggernaut took your guild 6:10 (min:sec) to kill last week, you should have been able to use Tiger's Fury 13 times (370/30=12.33+1) and Berserk 3 times (370/180=2.05+1). This should be a point of analysis for you when reviewing logs.
FB weaving will now be vital to maximizing your damage. An optimal damage distribution will have you at roughly 20% of all abilities (Rip/Rake/Melee/Shred/Ferocious Bite). Action priorities from simcraft give us a set of rules to follow as to when to cast FB.
You are in Blood in the Water range (Boss Health < 25%) and Rip is about to expire
You are in Blood in the Water range and have 5 combo points
You are about to cap in energy while Berserk is active and TF is about to come off cd
This list of rules indicates that maximizing bleed uptimes is still paramount to achieving optimal damage. In the simcraft profile, the Rake and Rip uptimes averaged to be 99.6% and 94.8% respectively.
Sustained 3+ targets
Rip on high priority targets (as many as possible)
Short (<30 sec TTD) 2-4 target
Short 11+ target
1: (Pre-Pull) Cast Healing touch to gain 2 stacks of Bloodtalons
2: (Pre-Pull) Stealth
3: (Pre-Pull) Use your Draenic Agility Potion
4: (On-Pull) Rake
5: Incarnation (Any on-use trinkets would also be used here)
6: Berserk on the GCD after Incarnation, as you cast Shred
7: Shred to 5 Combo Points
8: Tiger's Fury + Rip
9: Shred until you have 4+ Combo points
10: Healing Touch
11: If at 4 combo points, Rake then Ferocious Bite. If at 5 combo points, Ferocious Bite then Rake
12: Repeat steps 9-11, using a Shred instead of Rake if Rake does not need re-application
13: When Incarnation is about to fall off, use Shred or Rake to refresh Savage Roar
Shred was cleansed of the behind the target requirement, but attacking from the front will still increase the chance that your attack will be parried. Make sure you are attacking the boss from behind at all times.
Does the encounter have a phase that you cannot be in range for a period of time? Make sure to refresh bleeds prior to these phases in order to maximize damage output.
Energy is directly related to combo points. Energy pooling refers to waiting until you have sufficient energy to perform your next series of abilities. If you look at the picture below, you will see that in order to get to 5 combo points, your best case scenario (having 2 crits and refreshing a Rake) will take you 11.5 seconds. The worst case scenario (5 Shreds with no crits) takes 20 seconds.
What you should take away from this is that on average, you will have to wait 15 seconds until you get to your next finisher (outside of cds) and that your damage will not change so long as you aren't waiting while at 100 energy.
I will keep an updated BiS stat priority single target chart here (for individual results, please use simulationcraft to create personalized stat weights for yourself).
For single target, you can see that the priority is Agi>>Crit>Vers=Multi=Mastery>>Haste
When you move to multi-target, you will find that Mastery jumps ahead of Crit. Because there are hardly any fights that are pure single target, we try to optimize around the fact that we will be spreading bleeds. Because of this, the accepted stat priority is:
In order to quickly compare gear, you can input your custom stat weights into this spreadsheet Quick Gear Compare and see for yourself which piece is better. It takes into account all secondary stats as well as socket bonuses.
Above is a screenshot of my guild wiping during the Mythic Twin Ogron encounter.
I would like to go over some of the key addons used and how they help me perform better in raids.
The base addon used is known as ElvUI.
Elements used from Elv include:
Name Plates – helps for tracking bleeds on multiple targets
General Overlay – provides a uniform look to the entire UI
For my action bars, I prefer to use Bartender
There is much more customizability using this addon then the base bars from ElvUI. I keep my cooldowns larger and closer to the view of my bleed tracker while the rotational keys are kept lower and smaller (no real cooldowns needed to track).
Off to the right you can also see some icons that are faded. When I mouseover them, they no longer have opacity. These skills I rarely use in combat thus don’t need to be shown.
The dial like cooldown tracker you see over each icon is from the addon, OmniCC.
Even if you don’t like this bleed tracker. You should go download WA2. It is essential for progression raiding! You can find and install the strings yourself from this post at TFD. Going from the bottom up, you can see an energy bar followed by a combo point tracker. I have the cp’s to change to green when @ 5 cp’s.
Next up we have the essentials tracker. It follows Savage Roar, Rip, Rake, Thrash and Moonfire (when spec’d into LI). These icons are opaque when not applied as shown above. There is also an overlay for each icon that lights up green when it reaches pandemic.
Up one further, there contains a progress bar that tracks Predatory’s Swiftness.
Lastly, you can see the bleed tracker which tracks the strength percentage of your bleeds. Here you can see that if I were to re-apply Rake, it would be 15% stronger.
In WoD, Feral DPS now has the ability to off-heal during our rotation and provide a substantial amount of relief for the healers as well as increasing our own survivability. I choose Vuh-Do as my raid frames so that I can quickly apply Rejuvenation or Healing Touch to any of my raid members. It also allows me to break up the groups as you see in this screenshot. Here, I have groups 1-2 on the left and groups 3-4 on the right. This helps keep the center of the UI clear so you can see all the fire you aren’t supposed to stand in.
In addition to the addons I just explained, I also use the following:
Skada Damage Meter
Deadly Boss Mods
Fontain – Overwrites all addons to use the same style text. This might not seem like a big deal, but when you are trying to read information fast, it helps that it all looks the same.
Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text – Again, this might not seem important, but if you can minimize the clutter in the middle of your screen, you will stay out of fire better.
Icy-Veins Feral Moderator since 2013
Feral Druid since BC (2008)
Currently in the guild <Static> of Arthas who was ranked top 30 US for 25m guilds in both MoP and Cata
Has had several #1 World Parses such as:
Additional help from:
Played Feral since Firelands (Cata)
Currently a member of <Semi-Respectable> Mal'Ganis
Since 6.0 I find myself doing really low DPS in comparison to DPS classes (I was ready for this since Vengeance -> Resolve) but also in comparison to others tanks.
I am gemming mostly mastery and I know that it is not the best DPS/Threat strategy but monks, bears, DKs, and (to a lesser extent) warriors are ahead of me to the point I cant hold aggro on their offtanking rotation if theyre not careful. DKs seems to consistently pull a 50% ahead of me @ same ilvl.
6.0 pre-WOD is indeed a strange and pointless environment but I'm curious to know if you are experiencing the same issue and if the paladin is intended to be at the lower end of the tankDPS spectrum at level 100.
Thank you for reading !
10-29-14: Changed Focus Fire section for BM.
10-24-14: Added best races for each spec.
10-23-14: Updated Talent Recommendations for MM and BM.
10-21-14: Added Weapon Rankings for MM, and SV. Updated MM opener.
10-20-14: Added Weapon rankings for BM..
10-18-14: Hotfix updates. BM takes the lead.
10-16-14: Added new Sniper Training Weak Auraas well as changed mistakes in the BiS gear list for all three specs.
10-15-14: Changed recommended 60 talent for MM from Thrill of the Hunt to Steady Focus.
Hello my fellow hunters. In this guide I will be going over the rotations for each spec for Patch 6.0. I will also cover stat changes and what stats you'll want to look for as well as gemming and gear choices. This information is for 6.0 only and I can't stress that enough, this information will likely change when WoD drops and will be kept up to date when it does.
Wanna give a quick shoutout to Azortharion for 95% of the BM information and stat priorities. Check him out over on MMO-Champion where he is very active.
Table of Contents
4. Beast Mastery.
The enchants are still the same.
Boots: Blurred Speed
Cloak: Accuracy / Critical Strike
Shoulders: Tiger Claw Inscription
Legs: Shadowleather Leg Armor
Agility has been gimped incredibly come 6.0 so hunters will be opting to take secondary stats over mainstat. Since the stat priorities for all three specs have the same first stat you'll want the same gems across the board.
Red: Crafty Vermilion Onyx (+10 Haste, +10 Crit)
Yellow: Smooth Sun's Radiance (+20 Crit)
Blue: Rigid River's Heart (+20 Crit)
The reason that we use the Haste/Crit gem for MM is because there is no Crit/Mastery gem, or even a +10 Agi, +10 Crit gem for whatever reason. So we will be able to swap specs without re-gemming now.
I'll leave out what we lost and focus mainly on how the new changes are to be dealt with. So first off since we don't have Arcane Shot anymore we no longer have to differentiate between when to use Aimed or Arcane. So our rotation got a lot easier with that small change.
The priority is fairly simple:
Chimera Shot Kill Shot Barrage Aimed Shot Steady Shot
Pretty damn easy, cus those are our only 5 buttons. So this rotation isn't even so much a rotation, because it's super hard to mess up honestly. The skill gap comes in with managing our new Mastery.
Mastery: Sniper Training: When you stand still for 3 seconds, you gain Sniper Training for 6 seconds, which increases your damage, shot range, and critical strike damage by x%.
The play style of the spec is like nothing we've seen before. Consistent movement unless in short 3 second bursts will be punished. Standing still is imperative to performing well as MM, you'll ideally want a 100% uptime on Sniper Training, but for the average player, anything above 90% I would consider good.
Sniper Training Bar Weak Aura.
This weak aura will show you four things. If the main bar is green your buff is applied. If it is yellow, your buff is draining. If it is red, you want to stand still. The two black bars going vertically across the bar are the 4 second and 3 second markers. You'll want to stop moving somewhere in-between those two for maximum up-time. The timer is the duration left on the buff reapplying once you stand still again.
As for our stat priority, you should aim for these stats:
(6.0) Weapon Damage > Agility > Crit > Haste > Mastery
This makes our BiS gear the following pieces:
Neck: Gleaming Eye of the Devilsaur (Thok the Bloodthirsty)
Chest: Ancient Archer's Chestguard (Spoils of Pandaria)
Bracers: Dagryn's Fuselight Bracers (Galakras)
Belt: Arrowflight Girdle (Spoils)
Boots: Puddle Punishers / Ravager's Pathwalkers (Immerseus / Nazgrim)
Ring 1: Swift Serpent Singet (Galakras)
Ring 2: Reality Ripper Ring (Norushen)
Trinket 1: Haromm's Talisman (Dark Shamans)
Trinket 2: Assurance of Consequence (Sha of Pride)
Weapon: Hisek's Reserve Longbow (Paragons)
2-3 Targets: Single Target rotation.
4+ Targets: Multi-Shot spam. Chimaera on CD. Explosive Trap if adds will live for 18 seconds.
MM Weapon Rankings / ST Sims:
Our rotation for BM is almost entirely unchanged, the only thing is that we don't have to manage Serpent Sting at all anymore so there's very little to worry about.
The priority is:
Kill Command Kill Shot Focus Fire* Barrage Arcane Shot Cobra Shot *Focus Fire should be used on cooldown UNLESS there is less than 3 seconds of Bestial Wrath left, where you would no longer benefit as much from the haste, and your pet wouldn't get a 2x damage basic attack.
Our stat priority for BM will look like this:
(6.0) Agility >= Weapon Damage > Crit > Mastery > Haste
This makes our BiS list the pieces below:
Helm: Tier Neck: Gleaming Eye of the Devilsaur (Thok the Bloodthirsty) Shoulders: Tier Cloak: Legendary Chest: Ancient Archer's Chestguard (Spoils) Bracers: Bracers of Infinite Pipes (Siegecrafter) Gloves: Tier Belt: Arrowflight Girdle (Spoils) Legs: Tier Boots: Minelayers Padded Boots (Juggernaut) Ring 1: Ring of Restless Energy (Malkorok) Ring 2: Swift Serpent Signet (Galakras) Trinket 1: Haromm's Talisman (Dark Shamans) Trinket 2: Assurance of Consequence (Sha of Pride) Weapon: Kor'Kron Hand Cannon (Malkorok) AoE: 2 Targets: Beast Cleave should be maintained as much as you can without delaying Kill Command to maintain it. 3+ Targets: Beast Cleave takes priority over Kill Command, continue to cast Kill Command as much as you can. 9+ Targets: Multi-Shot and Cobra shot exclusively. BM Weapon Rankings / ST Sims: Best Races:
Gonna start this off by saying that Survival is one of the lowest performing specs in the game with the 6.0 patch. Current sims should be taken with a grain of salt but considering how far behind the other specs it is we can tell that it is going to be absolutely terrible. However I know there are people here that will still continue to play it regardless.
The priority is unchanged other than the loss of Kill Shot and Serpent Sting:
Explosive Shot Black Arrow Barrage Arcane Shot Cobra Shot
Our stat priority is unchanged:
(6.0) Agility > Weapon Damage > Crit > Haste > Mastery
BiS list has changed slightly from 5.4 and is as follows:
Helm: Tier Neck: Gleaming Eye of the Devilsaur (Thok the Bloodthirsty) Shoulders: Tier Cloak: Legendary Chest: Ancient Archer's Chestguard (Spoils) Bracers: Bracers of Infinite Pipes / Dagryn's Fuselight Bracers (Siegecrafter / Galakras) Gloves: Tier Belt: Arrowflight Girdle (Spoils) Legs: Tier Boots: Puddle Punishers / Ravager's Pathwalkers (Immerseus / Nazgrim) Ring 1: Reality Ripper Ring (Norushen) Ring 2: Swift Serpent Signet (Galakras) Trinket 1: Haromm's Talisman (Dark Shamans) Trinket 2: Assurance of Consequence (Sha of Pride) Weapon: Hisek's Reserve Longbow (Paragons) SV Weapon Rankings / ST Sims: Best Races: Nothing else to note here for SV. Talents BM: Immerseus: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage Protectors: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Norushen: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Sha of Pride: Dire Beast, Crows, Barrage
Galakras: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Iron Juggernaut: Dire Beast, Crows, Glaive Toss
Kor'kron Dark Shamans: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Nazgrim: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Malkorok: Dire Beast, Crows, Glaive Toss
Spoils: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Thok: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Siegecrafter(belt): Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Siegecrafter(platform): Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage
Paragons: Dire Beast, Crows, Barrage
Garrosh: Dire Beast, Blink Strikes, Barrage MM: Immerseus: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Protectors: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Norushen: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Sha of Pride: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Galakras: Thrill of the Hunt, Blink Strikes, Barrage Iron Juggernaut: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Kor'kron Dark Shamans: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Nazgrim: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Malkorok: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Spoils: Thrill of the Hunt, Blink Strikes, Barrage Thok: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Siegecrafter(belt): Thrill of the Hunt, Blink Strikes, Glaive Toss Siegecrafter(platform): Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Paragons: Thrill of the Hunt, Blink Strikes, Barrage Garrosh: Thrill of the Hunt, Stampede, Barrage Opener MM: Your opener should look something like this.
Aimed Shot Chimaera Shot Stampede / Only Rapid Fire if AoC procs Steady Shot Steady Shot Rapid Fire / If AoC hasn't proc'd yet Aimed Shot / ( Barrage only if 2+ targets. On single target - otherwise delay until after Careful Aim (sub 80%)) Proceed
BM: Dire Beast Bestial Wrath + KC Murder Barrage / Glaive Proceed SV: WoD When WoD releases all of this information will be scrapped in favor of the new tier as well as level 100 talents will be added. I will do my best to keep this updated as 6.0 gets into full swing. -Niix
WoD Balance 6.0 Guide: When the Stars Align
Edit: Since Kaz is no longer playing WoW any more, all changes made after Jan 11th 2015 are not accounted for in this guide. On Jan 12th, there was a small change to haste (90 haste per 1%) and a small buff to mastery. Most of what is said here is still true, but take the haste ratings with a grain of salt.
This guide is written and will be maintained to reflect the best practices of Balance druid (boomkin) in Warlords of Draenor. It is the result of a combination of much work play testing, calculating in spreadsheets, and simulations through SimulationCraft.
Updated for Patch 6.0.3/Highmaul release
Table of Contents
I. Specialization Overview/What Has Changed
-->All About the DoTs
-->New Eclipse System
-->Core Spell Changes
II. Racial Perks Evaluated
III. Talents & Glyphs Explained
IV. Stat Analysis
-->List of Stats
V. Gear Acquisition & Tier 17 Bonuses
-->Tier 17 Bonuses
-->Best in Slot List
VI. Trinket Breakdown
-->Trinket by Trinket
-->Master List Ranking
VII. Gameplay Tips and Tricks
-->General Raid Utility
-->AoE and Multi-Target Priority
-->Single Target Priority
VIII. Credits, Thanks, & Feedback
I. Specialization Overview/What Has Changed
In 6.0, the Balance spec was given a major overhaul to its Eclipse system, as well as various other changes. Let's start with the miscellaneous, smaller changes:
Faerie Fire is now Guardian and Feral only. Innervate is gone. Might of Ursoc is gone. Symbiosis is gone. Nature's Swiftness and Tranquility are now Restoration only. Lacerate and Maul are now Guardian only. Mangle (Cat Form) and Swipe are now Feral only. Thrash is now available (so useful). Blizzard finally decided to address the idea that people were running out of places to put things on their bars without special mice, tons of modifiers, and tons of macros. So, basically, we've lost a little bit of our healing utility and defensive abilities both as a spec and as a class. Oh, and we can do less stuff while we're in Bear Form and Cat Form, because we spend a lot of time in either of those.
All About the DoTs
Pandemic was originally a passive ability for warlocks in Mists of Pandaria, but has since become a core mechanic in the game. When you refresh Moonfire and Sunfire, you add their current duration at the next tick, up to 30% of the base duration. In short, refreshing Moonfire up to 12 seconds early or Sunfire up to 7 seconds early does not clip any of the duration. Additionally, DoTs no longer add entire ticks to their duration. Instead, the game simply adds a "partial" tick at the end of the DoT for the portion of a full tick leftover at the end.
However, the single most important change to DoTs is the removal of snapshotting. Previously, when you cast a DoT, it took a "snapshot" of all of your stats and buffs at the moment you cast it and applied all of that across the DoT's entire duration. Meaning, if you had a 5-second buff that made you do double damage when you cast a 20-second DoT, it maintained that double damage for all 20 seconds. DoTs no longer do this and update with your current stats every tick.
New Eclipse System
Our Eclipse energy is now fully automated and no longer based on our spell-spellcasting. For the mathematically inclined, we gain and lose energy as a sine curve. For everyone else, the close to 0 our energy is, the faster we gain and lose it. The closer to 100 we are, the slower it goes. When our energy reaches 100, it pauses briefly. For a visual reference, a graph of our energy over time, with positive representing lunar energy and negative representing solar energy:
For the purposes of add-ons and WeakAuras, it's important to know that the game actually counts lunar energy as negative.
When combat starts, we begin at 0 and gain lunar energy. Once combat ends, the cycle continues on for 30 seconds and then resets.
With this ever-changing, automatically-cycling Eclipse, our damage bonus has changed. We no longer reach 100 energy and get a monster buff until we reach 0 again. Instead, we always have some amount of bonus to our spells. At 100 lunar energy, we have maximum bonus to our lunar spells, base 30% and increased by mastery, but no bonus at all to solar spells. At 100 solar energy, our solar spells have our maximum bonus with no bonus for lunar spells. When we're perfectly balanced at 0 energy, we have half of our bonus (base 15%) to both spells together.
For a visual, here's a graph of our damage bonus for lunar and solar spells, assuming only the base bonus:
This will have significant implications on our rotation, to be explained later.
Core Spell Changes
Starfire remains a single-target spell with a base cast time of 3 seconds. It benefits from lunar energy bonus.
Wrath is another single-target spell with a base cast time of 2 seconds. It benefits from solar energy bonus. Wrath has a lower Damage Per Execution Time than Starfire.
Starsurge is an instant cast ability that gives either two stacks of Lunar Empowerment or three stacks of Solar Empowerment, matching your current energy type. Both buff your next Starfire or Wrath, respectively, by 30%. It benefits from your highest eclipse bonus. Starsurge has a very high Damage Per Execution time in its own right, increased further when considering the bonus you'll add over your next few spells. Starsurge now works on a charge system, having 3 charges and a recharge time of 30 seconds.
Moonfire is now very lengthy, single-target DoT, lasting a whopping 40 seconds. The base tick speed for Moonfire is 2 seconds. It benefits from lunar energy bonus and may only be cast during lunar energy (sharing a button with Sunfire). In addition, it has a 5% chance on tick (or 10% chance on critical tick) to proc Shooting Stars, granting another charge of Starsurge. Upon reaching 100 lunar energy, you gain a 5-second Buff called Lunar Peak that doubles the initial damage component of Moonfire.
Sunfire is a less lengthy DoT that lasts for 24 seconds. While the initial damage is single-target, the DoT itself is then applied to every enemy within 5 yards of your target. The base tick speed for Sunfire is also 2 seconds. It benefits from solar energy bonus and may only be cast during solar energy (sharing a button with Moonfire). Like Moonfire, Sunfire also has a 5%/10% chance on tick to proc Shooting Stars. Upon reaching 100 solar energy, you gain a 5-second buff called Solar Peak that doubles the initial damage component of Sunfire.
Starfall gives you a buff for 10 seconds that causes you to deal damage to all targets within 40 yards of you. It benefits from lunar eclipse bonus and shares charges with Starsurge.
Because Blizzard thinks we have nostalgia about the most hated part of the spec's history, Starfall now damages all targets within 40 yards, even if they are not in combat. Use caution when activating Starfall when there is something nearby that needs to not be pulled. It is some of the difficulty can be alleviated by taking Glyph of the Solstice and using Sunfire's new cleave function to quickly spread designate targets for Starfall.
Hurricane is an area-of-effect (AoE) ability that must be channeled to deal damage. It benefits from solar eclipse bonus, but is currently very weak and rarely worth using.
II. Racial Perks Evaluated
For quite some time, we have complained about the imbalance of racials, and finally Blizzard has seen to fixing it. Whereas Night Elves have long had no impact on DPS and Trolls have reigned supreme, we'll now see a very minor difference from one race to another.
Night Elf: Touch of Elune = 1% haste at night and 1% crit chance during day. Yes, it seems silly, and we sort of expect them to change it before it goes live. Worgen: Viciousness = 1% crit chance. Horde Perks
Tauren: Brawn = 2% crit damage and healing bonus. Troll: Berserking = 15% haste for 10 seconds on a 3-minute CD. Comparison
Simulated through SimCraft, these evaluate as follows at level:
Troll - 37,242 DPS Night Elf - 37,239 DPS Worgen - 37,181 DPS Tauren - 37,151 DPS *evaluated with a 0.08% margine of error
What this means is that your choice of race does not matter at all from a DPS perspective. The difference between the highest and lowest simming races is 0.24%. You should choose your race based on utility and usefulness. A few things to consider:
Night Elves have Shadowmeld, which can occasionally help recover after wipes or even provide a temporary threat dump. Additionally, Quickness can be useful if there are adds that must be tanked by DPS for any reason. Tauren have War Stomp, which is incredibly useful for controlling and limiting adds. Trolls have Da Voodoo Shuffle, which can be useful if content has a significant amount of movement impairing effects. Worgen have Darkflight, which can be extremely useful in case Dash and Stampeding Roar are inadequate. Or, you can simply pick the race that you like the looks of best. How you decide is up to you, but what race you pick doesn't actually matter.
III. Talents & Glyphs Explained
Tier 1 (Level 15)
Feline Swiftness is just a passive movement speed boost. Displacer Beast gives a short teleport and a burst of movement, but shifts you into Cat Form. Ysera’s Gift changes based on form, but is essentially a hunter's Deterrence as Boomkin. Feline Swiftness should be the default choice, as Displacer Beast requires two GCDs (one to use, and one to shift back into Moonkin Form). Displacer Beast should be considered when you need to cover a long distance that would require two GCDs to move normally.
Tier 2 (Level 30)
Ysera's Gift passively heals you every 5 seconds or heals other raid members if you're full. Renewal essentially replaces the Mists of Pandaria version of Healthstone. Cenarion Ward will heal its target the next time they take damage. Ysera's Gift is a good source of constant healing against constant damage and requires no attention. Renewal is good for situations where raid damage is heavily centered in single hits or short bursts to help be one less person healers need to catch up. Cenarion Ward should never be used.
Tier 3 (Level 45)
Faerie Swarm simply gives you a single target slow. Mass Entanglement is an AoE root ability. Typhoon is a conal knockback. Your choice here depends on the fight. If you need a good, single-target slow, take Faerie Swarm. If you need to hold a lot of enemies in one place, use Mass Entanglement. Typhoon is good when you need another knockback in your raid, or just for general defensive purposes when stuns are not enough to limit an add's melee.
Tier 4 (Level 60)
Soul of the Forest makes Lunar Empowerment and Solar Empowerment further buff your Starfire and Wrath. Incarnation: Chosen of Elune is a flat, 15% damage buff for 30 seconds every 3 minutes. It requires a GCD to activate, as it is a shapeshift. Force of Nature has three charges that summon Treants that cast Wrath at your target. Force of Nature is best used during trinket procs. Soul of the Forest is the talent of choice for single target situations, being a 0.7% to 1.5% over other choices depending on your Tier 7 (Level 100) talent choice.
Incarnation: Chosen of Elune is the choice for fights with two or more targets the majority of the time, being an increase over other talent choices by 2% or more, based on number of targets and Tier 4 (Level 60) talent choice.
Tier 5 (Level 75)
Incapacitating Roar is an AoE disorient every 30 seconds. Ursol’s Vortex is a targeted AoE slow that grips enemies back into it every minute. Mighty Bash is a 5-second, single-target stun every 50 seconds. This tier is completely based around the fight. Where an extra stun is needed (assuming your raid somehow doesn't have enough baseline stuns), you can take Mighty Bash. Most of the time that you're dealing with adds, Ursol’s Vortex will be the talent of choice to help kite since Incapacitating Roar does not always work on many adds and is broken by any damage.
Tier 6 (Level 90)
Heart of the Wild gives you a 45 second buff every 6 minutes that allows you to ghetto tank, ghetto melee, or ghetto heal effectively. Dream of Cenarius causes refreshing your DoTs at 100 energy (or shortly thereafter) to do heal a nearby raid member. Nature’s Vigil causes your single-target spells to copy 30% of their damage as healing to nearby raid members. Nature’s Vigil should be your default choice here. Dream of Cenarius is incredibly weak healing, which you may not even get to use much of if your DoTs don't need to be refreshed at peak. Heart of the Wild should only be taken for a fight where the healing demanded in one phase is high enough to merit having a DPS completely stop DPSing to help heal.
Tier 7 (Level 100)
Euphoria doubles the speed of your Eclipse cycle and reduces the cast time of your empowered Starfire and Wrath casts. Stellar Flare is an extra DoT that does more damage (both initial damage and DoT damage) when you're at 0 energy than at either end of the cycle. Balance of Power is a talent that makes your DoTs tick harder and removes the need to refresh them.
Euphoria is the talent of choice for single target encounters, leading by 4% to 5% over other choices depending on your Tier 4 (Level 60) talent choice.
Stellar Flare is the choice for fights with two or more targets the majority of the time, being an increase over other talent choices by 7% or more, based on number of targets and Tier 4 (Level 60) talent choice.
We don't have much in terms of significant glyphs as Boomkin. None of our spec-specific glyphs are particularly useful. Note that Glyph of Celestial Alignment is a DPS loss unless there were to be some mechanic to prevent you from casting 8 spells in 15 seconds. That said, I recommend the following:
Glyph of Rebirth helps prevent raid members from dying again and saves healer mana when rezzed in combat. Glyph of Stampeding Roar is especially useful in any fight where you will be using Stampeding Roar (in addition to range, it saves a GCD of having to shift back to Moonkin Form) Glyph of Moonwarding is increased survivability for any fight where the damage you will be taking is not mitigated by armor (which is most mechanics). Glyph of Dash can be useful for fights requiring a lot of movement. Minor Glyphs
Minor glyphs have no affect on DPS and almost no increase on survivability.
Glyph of Grace should be taken for any fight where you can suffer fall damage, otherwise: Glyph of the Flapping Owl is freaking sweet. Glyph of the Orca is hilarious if a lot of your raid has Ai-Li's Skymirror Glyph of the Solstice changes your Starfall into Sunfall and Hurricane into Astral Storm. This has no effect on DPS but simply reverses their lunar/solar alignment.
IV. Stat Analysis
With 6.0 comes the removal of Hit and Expertise as stats and the addition of Multistrike and Versatility. Including Haste, Crit, and Mastery, we now have five secondary stats. Additionally, gear will have a chance to roll additional, tertiary stats. These are varied, from things like movement speed to sockets to bonus item levels (a la Thunderforged/Warforged in Mists of Pandaria). Note that all Mastery Rating is increased by 5% (rounding up) by Lunar Guidance.
Haste reduces our cast times, shortens our Global Cooldown, and makes our DoTs tick faster. As a side effect of making Moonfire and Sunfire tick faster, this increases how quickly we generate Starsurge charges via Shooting Stars.
Crit gives all of our spells and DoTs a chance to deal double damage. It also gives our healing spells a chance to restore twice as much health, in circumstances when we need to help off-heal. In addition to the base function of crit, it also gives us more Starsurge charges. When Moonfire or Sunfire ticks crit, their chance to proc Shooting Stars doubles.
Mastery: Total Eclipse
increases our bonus Eclipse damage. With 0 mastery rating, we have a base 30% damage bonus. This means Mastery is an increase in damage to every spell that we cast.
Multistrike is a new stat that gives all of our abilities a chance to cast again. When we cast a spell or when a DoT ticks, two rolls are made by the game. Each roll has our Multistrike chance to repeat the spell/tick for 30%. These occur shortly after the initial hit and show a second (or third), smaller spell cast graphic. Note that only the damage is repeated. Moonfire and Sunfire do not apply additional "mini-DoTs" when their initial cast Multistrikes, and Starsurge Multistrikes do not give any extra stacks of Lunar Empowerment or Solar Empowerment. Multistrikes crit independently of the original spell and are based on the non-critical damage of the spell. So, a Starfire that crits for 60,000 and Multistrikes will only deal 9,000 (30% of the 30,000 the spell would have done on a non-crit). Similarly, a Starfire that crits for 30,000 and Multistrike crits will deal 18,000 damage.
Versatility is a new stat that just provides a flat increase to damage and healing done as well as a flat reduction in damage taken.
Upon hitting 100, and gearing up through normal gear levels (655 item level), our stats are relatively close, with versatility being garbage. At this point, a single point of int is worth more a little more than 2 of any other stat. You'll want to go with:
Int >>>> Haste >= Mastery >= Crit > Multistrike >> Versatility
Again, the gap between haste, mastery, and crit is very small, with the gap between crit and multistrike and then the gap between multistrike and versatility widening.
As we gear up and start heading towards mythic gear levels (685 and higher), our stats equalize a lot more. Mastery pulls ever so slightly ahead, but haste and crit essentially become equal. One point of int is now worth ever so slightly less than 2 points of secondary stats (except still worth more than 2 versatility). You'll roll with:
Int >>>> Mastery >= Haste = Crit > Multistrike >> Versatility
As gear increases, multistrike and versatility still lag behind. Again, the difference between mastery and haste is tiny, and the difference between haste and crit is indistinguishable. You could change stacking mastery, haste, and crit on enchants and see DPS differences of less than 100 out of 40k DPS. It's insignificant.
I can't say this enough: You're going to be using the item with the highest item level or with a socket, regardless of secondary stats. If you're putting more than 10 seconds of thought into your stats in regards to your DPS, you need to start focusing on logs and how you're playing. Stats aren't going to make a significant difference.
So. Everyone is saying different things right now... Icy Veins says Haste to 50% and then focus on Mastery. Ask Mr. Robot says focus on Mastery over Haste. Noxxic says focus on Mastery AND Crit over Haste.... Can we get some agreement up in here? lol