Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Maximize Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Since Eclipses are the bread and butter of a moonkin's rotation, I thought I would take a little bit of time to discuss how I have tried to maximize the amount of damage you get from your eclipses.  With the druid changes in Cataclysm, this will likely change drastically.

1) Spellpower Maximization - You should try to get all the spellpower you can.  Whether it is through intellect, spirit,  enchants, gems, etc., spellpower will be your number one stat overall.  The more spellpower you get, the harder your eclipses will hit.

2) Soft (Solar) Haste Cap - I mentioned this in an earlier post, but the soft haste cap is 408.  This is also known as the Solar Haste Cap.  Since you be will casting Wrath during your Solar Eclipse, you want to get the cast time on your Wrath down to as low as possible.  When it is at the haste cap, your Wrath cast time is around 1.2 seconds.

3) Lunar Eclipse Macro - While the 408 will really reduce the cast time of Wrath, it will barely touch the cast time of Starfire.  There are a few ways to decrease the cast time on Starfire.  One, Heroism/Bloodlust will increase your haste and really decrease the Starfire cast time.   This will be cast during the fight and you have little say in it.  Second, you can have a trinket that will increase haste and decrease Starfire's cast time.  Although their are some better trinkets I'm trying to get from ICC, I'm currently using Shard of the Crystal Heart while waiting for another trinket.  Third, you can use a Potion of Speed.  I'm sure my GM is wondering why I'm grabbing a stack of 20 Potions of Speed before every raid.  This is the reason why.  Well, I can't do anything about Heroism/Bloodlust.  However, I can do something about trinkets and potions.  I have a little home brewed macro that takes care of both of these issues.

/use Potion of Speed
/use Shard of the Crystal Heart
/cast Starfire()

This does several things, first, I can use this at the beginning of the fight so I will benefit from Heroism later without going over the haste cap.  Second, you can only use one potion during a boss fight so it uses it at the beginning.  Third, my trinket will be used on cool down when it is ready.  I don't need that trinket during Solar Eclipse, because I'm already Solar Haste capped so I would just hook it to my Lunar Eclipse Starfires

4) Switching Wrath and Starfire Efficiently - I mentioned in a prior post about this, but the key to Eclipses is to switch to the proper spell as quickly and efficiently as possible.  It takes a little bit of quick movements and a little coordination, but the quicker you can get to the proper spell, the more damage you are going to do.

5) Lunar Crit Cap - This gets into some max/min stuff, but hopefully, you can follow me.  First, I would recommend you look here.  This is the updated Elitist Jerks thread about PvE moonkins.  In there, you will find an equation that tells you what crit cap you have to be at to be at the Lunar Eclipse cap based on your Intellect.  This is based on the fact that Lunar Eclipse adds 40% crit to your Starfire during a Lunar Eclipse.  Add that to the crit you get from Faerie Fire, Moonkin form, etc.  and you can hit 100% critical strikes during a Lunar Eclipse.  This is the point where you can start to switch priority from critical strike to haste to help lower the cast time on Starfire to allow you to get more Starfires during a Lunar Eclipse.

6) Keep DoTs up - Besides Faerie Fire giving a general 3% critical strike percentage, both Insect Swarm and Moonfire have beneficial effects depending on what is cast.  For example, if you are glyphed for Starfire and Moonfire, as you should be, you extend the time of your DoT when you can Starfire and the Moonfire DoT does double.  Also, Improved Insect Swarm increases the damage of your Wrath spells and increases the critical strike of your Starfire.

7) Check Your Spec - Look at recommended specs to try and maximize  your DPS.  Experiment some yourself to try and find that perfect spec for you.

This is some of the ways that I try to maximize my DPS during Eclipses.  I'm sure there are many others and would love to hear some of your thoughts on that.

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