Balance Druid (Moonkin) PVP Video: Kiting Mechanics

This video is narrated footage of my 80 Balance Druid in an Eye of the Storm battleground (queued solo) for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion patch 3.3.3.

I made this video to showcase the kiting mechanics for the Balance spec, as they’re key to defeating opponents and staying alive in PVP. For most of the video I am running without heal support and outnumbered:

(Double-click on the video to see it in higher-resolution / larger screen size on YouTube)


Most of the gear I’m using in the video is easily obtainable, with the exception of my weapon:

  • From honor points: necklace, cloak, chest, wrists, hands, belt, boots, both rings, both trinkets
  • From Wintergrasp marks: shoulders
  • From arena + honor points: helm, legs
  • From Emblems of Triumph: idol
  • From ICC10 (Festergut): Abracadaver staff

The staff allows me to reach the hit cap and use the 2 points from the Balance of Power talent elsewhere. I will be gradually upgrading my gear over time – I started 2v2 arena’ing with an old friend who plays a Mage and we’re still in the learning process.


Here’s a link to my 54/17 PVP spec:

I have tried many different Balance PVP specs and the one I’m using now is what has worked the most effectively for battlegrounds and arena. My spec is similar to that of the highest-rated 2v2 Moonkin I could find: Leathi.

I may provide some commentary on spec / talents in another post.

Edit (2010/07/09): I’ve switched to a different 54/17 spec:

You can read more about this spec in my comment below.


Here are the list of addons that I highly recommend for Moonkin PVP:

With these addons, you can see:

  • the range to targets just above my head
  • my HoTs just to the left of my character
  • my DoTs and cooldowns to the right of my character

If you have any comments / feedback / questions please post ’em.

P.S. I’m back playing WoW (World of Warcraft), after 2.5 years away from the game.

When I quit WoW back in late 2007, I never expected to play it again, because there were several things that I didn’t like, e.g. the grindy nature of the gear treadmill and the way itemization and specs were handled. WoW has changed dramatically for the better for someone like me, so I decided to try it again. Back in The Burning Crusade (TBC), I played a 70 Feral Druid, and I wanted to play Moonkin this time around, in particular because there is so little material on Moonkin PVP.

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Posted in Druid, PVP, Video, World of Warcraft
20 comments on “Balance Druid (Moonkin) PVP Video: Kiting Mechanics
  1. Nathan says:

    Very reminiscent of your WAR Swordmaster punts and positioning skills.

    Those crits are damn nasty, I agree with your choice about eclipse, too many people follow the bandwagon on specs, personalization can’t hurt!

  2. Komaf says:

    Nice job on the Boomkin :) I went back to WoW a bit but just feels so processed. When I saw the expansion in Conan (Godslayer) and saw that pvp improvements are incoming next patch I was excited :)

    Nice to see you in the living though :)

  3. audient says:

    Grat video and skills Taugrim! This is a good opportunity for some of us to learn more about this spec. As you mentioned, there is fairly little quality material available. Thanks

  4. Potent says:

    Hey Taugrim, been following your videos since you were in WAR, always a pleasure to watch and very informative. I’m also thinking of resubbing to WoW and have a few questions:
    How long did it take you to get from 70-80 and get to your level of gear?
    Did you encounter ‘Gear Score’ issues when trying to get PvE groups? Is it possible to do any good PvE as a fresh faced 80?

    On topic, another great video!

    • taugrim says:

      In terms of leveling 70-80, let me state that I dislike questing, I find it unchallenging. From 74-80, I leveled all but 6 bars of XP (30% of one level) through battlegrounds. It took me somewhere in (**EDIT**) 66 hours to get from 70-80, but if you are a grinder you can do it in less.

      One reason I leveled from 74-80 through BGs was to earn honor points to buy PVP gear, which per Cynwise’s blog takes a total of 583,600 honor and 40 Wintergrasp Marks:
      By the time I dinged 80 I already had purchased 5 pieces of 80 PVP gear through honor points.

      The one thing you can’t buy with honor points is a weapon. Therefore you should run heroics to get an i200 to i232 weapon – heroics are super easy, and even with only PVP gear, you will be fine. GS is not an issue.

      To be ready for the easier raids (Ony10/Ony25/Toc10) as a new 80, you should use a PVE offspec and get hit-capped (only 263 for Moonkin if you have IFF and BoP talents) as soon as possible. In most of my early raids I had mostly PVP not PVE gear, but my DPS was fine once I got a PVE offspec and reached the hit cap.

      I am gradually acquiring PVE gear to make sure my DPS is competitive for ICC raids.

      • Potent says:

        Thanks for the response :)
        While ~100 hours seems like a long time to a recent WAR player (39-40 in half an hour anyone?) WAR has pretty much made me a PvP kinda guy so levelling through BGs sounds right up my alley. I’ve been told that WoW pvp is faster paced than in WAR, after playing WAR for 1.5 years am I in for a shock? How would you compare the two?

      • taugrim says:

        While 66 hours seems like a long time to a recent WAR player (39-40 in half an hour anyone?) WAR has pretty much made me a PvP kinda guy so levelling through BGs sounds right up my alley

        (**EDIT**) 66 hours from 70-80 is me leveling the way I want to level (i.e. via PVP as much as possible), not the fastest way to do it :) Keep in mind too that I came back to WoW after being away for 2.5 years, so I didn’t know the maps, quest chains, etc. If I had to re-level from 70-80 again (which I won’t), it would go much faster.

        I’ve been told that WoW pvp is faster paced than in WAR, after playing WAR for 1.5 years am I in for a shock? How would you compare the two?

        I wouldn’t say that WoW PVP is faster paced than WAR in terms of twitch/timing, however fights in WoW can end quickly due to burst/crits, esp against low-resilience opponents.

        WAR PVP was the most fun and challenging I’ve had in any game, but the game client and server were just way too buggy. I loved many things about WAR’s game design: all abilities (e.g. Taunt) had a PVP application, and gear is gear whereas in WoW PVE gear and PVP gear are totally different due to the resilience mechanic.

        WoW PVP has come a long way and WoW has evolved to accomodate a PVP’er at heart like me.

      • taugrim says:

        Correction, it took me 66 hours to level from 70-80 mainly via PVP

      • Potent says:

        Aha, well thats an improvement, I just find 3 digits daunting :)

        Anyway, time isn’t an issue if you’re having fun!

  5. avnos says:

    good to hear you are finding wow changes pvp player friendly. Just stopped SC2 beta and im bored as all hell now and this piqued my interest in WoW again. Was also looking to roll a druid as well! I must say that the “sword master” likeness in playstyle is interesting.

    Thanks again for the great videos taugrim hope to see more!

  6. Nathan says:

    Nice thinking by Blizzard here,

    “We’re currently expecting both normal and rated battlegrounds to be cross-battlegroup (within a region) for the launch of Cataclysm. So, players queueing from anywhere in north america could play vs players on any north american battlegroup, etc”.

    Er…Me, you, outside now!

    Fingers crossed.

  7. Oozo says:

    I hate those freaking floating pots around BE tower. ;P

  8. Oozo says:

    Yeah, I got hung up on those damn things myself tonight more than once. :P

  9. Brogarn says:

    It just blows my mind how calm you are in these fights and are able to remember all of your abilities. I get into PvP in most games and I’m all fumble fingers and trying to remember what I can do, what I should, when I should do it, and when I can do it. How the heck do you remain so calm and level headed in all of these games? I’ve yet to see a single one where you don’t have great success.

    Yes, I’m crying salty tears. Yes I’m sure they’re delicious.

    • taugrim says:

      It just blows my mind how calm you are in these fights and are able to remember all of your abilities

      I spend a LOT of time mapping out my hotkeys / skill bars. Having an intuitive, easy-to-use setup is IMO the most important factor in playing well.

      I’ve yet to see a single one where you don’t have great success

      I get my butt kicked a lot in PVP too. I’m selective about footage – not so much to show me owning people, but rather to show examples of what to do and what not to do.

      • Oozo says:

        Yeah, you are going to get smoked as a moonkin quite often where there just isn’t anything you can do about it. Intuitive keybinds and practice are important as Taugrim said (practice your keybinds on PvE mobs – to the point where your keypress combinations become second nature).

        From a psychological viewpoint you also need to make sure you don’t think about whether you are going to win or lose a fight. You have to stay in the moment, with indifferent detachment as to whether you are going to win or lose. Focus on action/reaction. Not sure if that makes sense, but that helps reduce the chance of ‘choking’ in tight situations.

        Also, never give up on a fight. Yes, when overwhelmed you are probably going to die… but sometimes, sometimes… amazing things happen and you’ll have a moment to treasure.

        Best of luck. :)

  10. taugrim says:

    Just a note. After this video I switched to a different 54/17 spec:

    Here are the differences compared to the spec I used in the video…

    +3 Celestial Focus / -3 Improved Moonkin Form:
    Reasons for the change:
    a. CF is always-on haste, IMF requires MF form. Yes, IMF is an aura, but I found that in PVP I am shifting forms a lot
    b. the pushback from CF does help a lot in casting SF or Hibernate

    -2 Improved Moonfire / +2 Owlkin Frenzy:
    Reasons for the change:
    a. I want OF to proc as soon as possible in PVP, and 15% chance to proc instead of 5% is huge
    b. 10% damage buff to MF isn’t really that significant, considering how low the spell coefficients are

  11. hadi says:

    hi there,

    right now im playing balance druid wow wotlk in a private server, you’re guide is good and i’m interested with your build, but i can’t see the talent build because now the wowhead just provide the calculator for cata :( or i just can’t find the old calculator in wowhead :P, can you make show me the talent tree spec here ? it’s a website that provide the old wow wotlk calculator

    thx alot

    • taugrim says:

      I honestly can’t remember how I spent my talent points – it’s been over a year since I made that video.

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