Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Heroic Moonkin: Blood and Frost

Finally dealt with some RL stuff so I'll be trying to get back to this - sorry about the huge lack of recent posts.

I decided to combine Blood and Frost because of how short the posts were looking to be.  For the first four bosses, please go here.

A note on specs:
I consider this to be the "core" moonkin talents.  There are two floater points that can pretty much go anywhere, depending on the fight - normally for single target they end up in Brambles for me.  So when I talk about "56/0/13 + 2" I'm saying use this spec.

Blood Prince Council
Spec: Standard (56/0/13 + 2)
Glyphs: Moonfire/Starfire/Starfall

Just like normal mode, this fight is effectively three different phases that are repeated in a pseudo-random (shuffle) manner.  Unlike normal mode however we have a new mechanic: Shadow Prison.
Binds an enemy. Movement by a bound enemy inflicts 350 initial Shadow damage, increasing by 500 for each second of movement. Remaining motionless for 10 sec will reset the stack.
Think of this as Bizzaro Hodir - instead of a mechanic that penalizes you for staying still, it penalizes you for movement.  The stacks aren't incredibly bad on their own but can kill you when combined with other mechanics, so it should change your strategy - try to move all at once instead of the normal strategy of shifting slowly when you cast instant spells.

This fight is relatively easy but has some tricky areas.  If you are assigned to dps Kinetic Bombs then keep in mind you can hit anything in a 180 degree arc in front of you - it can be very helpful to face at a right-angle to the boss instead of directly on him, as this will allow you to dps a target almost directly behind you without actually turning around.  Secondly, feel free to use Starfall on cooldown - it will pad the meters but it won't steal the Shadow Orbs the Keleseth tank needs.

Blood-Queen Lana'thelSpec: Standard (56/0/13 + 2)
Glyphs: Moonfire/Starfire/Starfall

Note: Owlkin Frenzy no longer has a higher than normal proc rate on this fight, so don't bother speccing it - it's now officially useless for PvE raiding.  Just use a normal single-target dps spec.

Mechanically BQL is not different at all from the normal version - she just has more health and her abilities hit harder.  The major difference is that it will be more important to optimize your movement (as the enrage is much tighter).  I really try to emphasize a single-dot rotation on this fight (alternating MF and IS, that is) so I always have something to hit if I need to move, and I use GotW liberally for the 2t10 procs.  Other then that the only major factors of your dps are going to be:
1) Intelligent use of cooldowns - Starfall as soon as it's up, FoN at the start and then with Hero
2) Positioning - the closer you are to the middle the less dps you'll lose from getting Pact
3) Bite Order - this is the biggest factor.

2 and 3 may not be under your control but make sure you talk to your raid leader, they are probably the biggest factors for your dps on this fight.

Valithria Dreamwalker
Spec: AOE (55/0/13 + 2/2 Gale Winds + 1/1 Typhoon).  I take the extra point from Improved Insect Swarm - it's relatively weak on target-swapping fights anyway.
Glyphs: Moonfire/Starfire/Starfall

Another fight with no significant mechanic changes from the normal version.  It is more tightly tuned so it will be important to maximize dps, however.  Typhoon and AOE are for suppressors since they are the second most important add to kill - Typhoon to slow and proc NG, and Hurricane because you should usually be able to hit 3-4 of them at a time, plus occasionally other mobs.  You shouldn't have time to DoT up the most important mob (Blazing Skeletons) anyway, so maximizing AOE dps at the expense of Imp IS is a pretty easy trade.  You also get an incidental boost to killing Rot Worms which can really wreck a tank.

I like to drop FoN on Abominations and Starfall is very good for killing suppressors fast.  Also make sure you position intelligently - I try to be near (but not inside) the dragon, so I can reach anything quickly but I can still see void zones and other things to move out of.

SindragosaSpec: Standard (56/0/13 + 2)
Glyphs: Moonfire/Starfire/Starfall

Finally a fight with an actual mechanic change!  Backlash is different:
Deals Arcane damage to all allies within 20 yards for each magical spell cast while afflicted with Unchained Magic.
...oh.  So now instead of getting to dps a little with Unchained Magic, instead we can't dps at all or we'll kill the raid.  Thanks, Blizzard.

Overall this fight is very similar to the normal version, except you can't dps as much.  There are some things you can do though:
1) Use Travel Form for Blistering Cold.  It's outdoors and a 40% movement boost will let you start dpsing faster.  You can also use this to help position correctly for Ice Tombs or to move faster when you need to clear stacks in P3.  Note: If you do this be careful with your Starfall use, shifting to travel will cancel the spell.  Also make sure you don't hit Starfall when Sindragosa is about to go into the air.
2) In P1 you can run out of the raid and at least dps a little even when you have Unchained.  6-7 stacks are safe, just make sure you aren't going to get pulled in and are 20 yards away from everyone.  In P3 you shouldn't really dps at all.

3) Use a feral staff and melee dps during P3 when you have Unchained Magic.  Just make sure you swap weapons back when it's over and you still clear stacks.

Maybe that last one isn't too great, but other then that... well, it's Sindragosa.  It's hard to optimize dps on a fight where the best strategy involves you twiddling your thumbs doing almost nothing half of the time.  Be clean with movement when you can dps and use cooldowns intelligently, but there's just not much you can do here.

Plague Wing
Coming Soon!  This will hopefully actually be an interesting post, since all three plague fights actually require a significant strategy change.


  1. Firstly, for Blood Princes I find that if I'm assigned to kinetic orbs it's much easier just to stay in your assigned position and out of everyone else's way, not bothering with the boss. You can make the calls for vortex and kinetic orb locations then with minimal distraction letting others that have more to concentrate on do just that. Any serious guild is not going to hit the enrage on that fight even 4 dps down doing orbs. Also, regarding the use of starfall, you will have to gauge this on the amount of threat the orb tank produces. In my case it's not an option the majority of the time.

    Secondly I would love a UI shot just to see how you optimise things. Always handy to see.

    Thirdly, I've been reading this blog since its inception, always great info. Keep up the good work.

  2. A note, Starfall may not hit the Shadow Orbs, but they sure hit the Kinetic Bombs. I tend to try to save Starfall for when there's one in range. Gives everyone around it more DPS time on the boss(es), including yourself.