I just recently got promoted to a rated BG leader in my guild, Conquest. (Yes, usual disclaimer. We are recruiting for both our PvP division and PvE division.) Another BG leader and myself were talking after rated BGs last night and we were talking about DPS and how to increase it in a BG setting. When you hear DPS rotations, you mostly think about PvE enviroments where you stand, cast spells in a certain order, and then accomadate movement. However, when it comes to PvP enviroments, there may or may not be rotations based on the situation. There are some things that are similar, but there are a lot different. Here are just a few things that I thought of that are different between a PvE and PvP rotation for moonkins.
1) Most DPS Does Not Come From Nukes – In rated BGs, you don’t have the luxury of standing there and just endlessly casting your usual moonkin rotation. That is why good DPS in PvE are around 15k DPS, but good DPS in PvP are usually around 3-5k. There are several factors behind this. One of the biggest is resilience lessens any damage that occurs anyway. However, the second is that no opposing player is going to let you stand there while you cast away killing their teammates. We also shouldn’t be standing in stuff like Death and Decay, Consecration, Ring of Frost, etc. while PvPing. This means being able to do DPS while mobile is more important. While I haven’t done in depth analysis, I’m almost certain most of my DPS in BGs come from 4 spells. Those spells are Moonfire/Sunfire, Insect Swarm, Starfall, and Starsurge on Shooting Star procs. Now don’t get me wrong. If the opposing team is cool with me just standing there and casting my usual moonkin rotation to kill their players, I will do it all day long until they stop me.
2) Wild Mushrooms Are Much More Useful – Since I haven’t done any PvE after patch 4.0.6, I don’t know how reliable they have become in PvE, however, in PvP they are useful. However, it is not necessarily for damage. It is more useful if you have Fungal Growth and can slow their players down.
3) Thorns: The Silent Killer – I cannot tell you how many times I have seen rogues, warriors, and DKs kill themselves because I popped Thorns on myself. It is incredible to see them just continue to hit you and whack at you while you are not dying but they are slowly losing health.
4) Typhoon is Not for Damage – Typhoon has never been meant to do enough damage to kill a player. It is meant to either keep players off of flags or get melee off of you so you can root them and kill them. In addition, if you see an enemy Efforvescence or Healing Rain or Healing Circle, you can use Typhoon to knock them out of it so you can kill them as well. Of course, if you can knock players off of ledges with Typhoon, it is kind of fun.
5) Treants: A Minor Annoyance – Treants should be used on cooldown, but for two different reasons than in PvE. One, they are affected by Fungal Growth, which will still slow people down. Second, they are almost like a gnat. They won’t hurt anything, (unless you use them during a Solar Eclipse) but they will be annoying as hell. Also, it is just additional damage they may help take something down.
6) Our 4S9 Bonus – Yes, I’m trying to set up a new nomenclature to match PvE’s 4T11. Our 4 piece bonus for Season 9 is almost necessary for moonkins. While 400 more resilience would be great for PvP by doing 2 piece balance, 2 piece resto, the ability to gain Solar and Lunar Energy from people attacking us is incredible. This also plays a role if we actually get to do our moonkin rotation because it determines which nuke to actually cast.
7) Moonfire/Sunfire Do More Damage When Moving – This is the major reason why it is in my top 4 damage causing spells in PvP. If I have to move, they will do more damage if they are on a target or if I’m spamming it while moving. Plus, having that and Insect Swarm increases the chances for Shooting Stars. If it is in an Eclipse, even better since its damage is increased by Eclipse.
8) PvP Rotation – Although technically a misnomer, I do have a certain rotation I like to use when going against opponents in PvP. Usually, if there is a caster, I will try to roots and solar beam them, especially if they are the kill target. Why? Because other casters can be controlled by Cyclone better. With the new 8 second duration, we can kill a healer while a caster is just watching us. If it is melee, typhoon then roots. Also, if my Solar Beam is on cooldown, I will try to DoT up anybody in the area. The main reason is that if the healer is focused on healing everybody else, he might just forget to heal himself which will lead to his death. Starfall does a very similar process. Starfall alone won’t kill anybody, but it will hit everybody and put them in a panic. If Shooting Stars procs, use the instant Starsurge on the kill target. If everybody is controlled or left with just a few targets, I will start my PvE moonkin rotation. (DoTs, Starsurge, move towards the closest Eclipse with Wrath or Starfire, re-DoT, move back towards the other eclipse.)
9) Reasons and Counters for Why You Are Not DPSing – There are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t be DPSing targets and there is a counter for each of them. The most obvious is that you are silenced. If you are in Solar Beam, move out of it. If it is a spell, ask for a cleanse. Also, you may be locked downed with CC. You may want to invest in the trinket for your faction to help you get out of movement impairing effects. Also, cleanses may work as well depending on what it is. Snares can be shapeshifted out of because you are a moonkin. The only other reason you shouldn’t be on a kill target is you are CCing something. This is where having good timer mods comes in handy. I personally recommend Forte Exorcist because you can set it up to list the player’s name and tells you how long you have left on the cyclone. That way, you can DPS the kill target and keep him CCed. Using some sort of focus frames helps a lot with this too so you can switch targets quickly. Set your focus on your kill target and switch to the CC target when CC is up. Also, when you hit diminishing returns, call for another CC unless your CC target is now the kill target.
10) Remember Your Goal – Your goal is to win the BG. If you are DPSing when you should be protecting a node or carrying a flag, then you are failing. There is a time to DPS, but it is not all the time. Sometimes, it is just a matter of keeping people off of a flag carrier so they can get to your base and be protected or even cap it.
While all of these tips are more moonkin specific, there are things for every DPS that can help improve your DPS in BGs. You just have to find the differences between how you play your class in PvP and PvE. The best way to do that is to do some random BGs to get used to your PvP rotation in a setting where it won’t hurt your rated team.