Patch 8.1 is coming and with it Balance will see some changes to our Traits, Stats and Talents which I will go over.
Traits and Stats:
Mastery increased baseline from 11% to 12%, and Starsurge/Solar Wrath now scale fully at that percentage. Overall buff 4-6%, Mastery should now sim roughly equal to other stats. Great change now Mastery is not a dead stat and gearing becomes basically ilvl over all.
Stellar Flare was buffed, Twin Moons nerfed(20%->10%). You will take StFl on Single Target/Two Target fights, with TM still being the choice on Multi Target. If you do not pick StFl you basically cancel out the buff gained from Mastery, therefore combined our Single Target will see roughly a 10% increase. StFl will be the option on most bosses in Uldir, barring Zekvoz or Ghuun if you are having issues with adds or with worms in phase 1 of Ghuun respectively.
With the changes to Mastery as well as the introduction of Arcanic Pulsar, the number of targets required to use Starfall over Starsurge as a filler has increased to 4 without Pulsar, and 5 with Pulsar/Soul. If you talent Stellar Drift, then the number required is 3 for Starfall granted you aren’t using Pulsar.
For using Streaking, you will weave with Solar Wrath inbetween spells only with Incarn talented, Sunfire weave with only 3x traits of Streaking. Also to note if you are interested in seeing the whole shebang of sims for the new patch, check out the boomy_stuff channel of the Moonkin Monthly discord here: Link to the Discord
New Azerite Trait and other trait adjustments:
Starsurge’s damage is increased by 1500 @ 390 azerite. Every 9 Starsurges, gain Celestial Alignment for 6 sec. Replaces Sunblaze on gear, as Sunblaze is gone. Powerful value trait, offering significant synergy with Streaking Stars, as you can proc it during the 6 second window. You will want at least 1 of this trait, as traits past 1 are weaker than the initial. Would suggest using a weakaura to track the buff and pooling before proccing the 9th Starsurge to maximize Streaking Stars procs within the 6 second window. In its current tuning it is worth it to drop at least 30-45 ilevels for your first piece with this trait.
High Noon/Power of the Moon:
Now awards periodic damage over on hit, and now are additional options for multi target, but can be outclassed by Lively Spirit if used properly and within a group setting. For Power of the Moon, the chance to gain Lunar Empowerment proc was changed to be 2.5 procs per minute modified by haste. This makes PotM another great 1 value trait, as the extra Lunar Empowerments will be useful on both Single Target and Multi Target. High Noon remains the same with the range increase on Sunfire to 11 yards. If you do not have access to Lively Spirit gear, using either of the DoT traits are viable options for M+.
Intellect nerfed by 30%, but now returns 0.5% mana per spell cast. Still useful on multi target and in particular M+ if in coordinated groups. The mana return is useless for us but makes it better for Resto (very small if any).
New slots of gear with the Battle for Dazarlor raid will have 1 more ring, so 6 total class traits available. The raid pieces for BfD are very good for us, with an abundance of Pulsar and Streaking so gear that is more well itemized will be easier to come by.
1T/2T ideal talents are NB/SL/StFl/ShS. For Tier 15, the choices are all within 0.5% of each other so those are mostly encounter dependent. You will use Force of Nature(Trees) when you want 1 min on demand burst like Fetid or Mythrax Mythic or in M+ for the taunt. WoE is best for heavier movement encounters, while NB is all around the best choice, especially with Pulsar as it grants you the highest AsP generation per minute to fuel more Starsurges for Pulsar. You can run Incarn over Starlord for Uldir still as the fights benefit it still more. If you prefer Starlord feel free to run it, as the gap is about 2.5% now since the bugfix to Dots being modified by 35% during Incarn (this made the gap 1% more). If you utilize Starlord properly (this includes aura canceling rarely for movement purposes), especially once you get Pulsar, it can potentially be better than Incarn. Situations between the two talents are still very encounter dependent and player skill dependent, but most the time Incarn will be better for ease of use and for non perfect play.
3T+ Sustained talents are WoE/Inc/TM/FoE. These are best for sustained 3 targets (with Pulsar too), which is rare cases that unless there is a fight like High Command from Antorus, you will rarely use this setup. Ideally you will run WoE/Inc or SL/TM/FoE for scenarios in raids with multi target.
M+ you will still use FoN/Inc/TM/FoE like we do currently, as the combination of Incarn with Lively is too good, as well as the utility provided from FoN is unparalleled. TM is still used for ease of dotting targets quickly to save GCD’s and FoE is still the best all around option for M+.
Great patch for balance. The talent changes, Mastery buff, and new trait are amazing for us. BfD looks to be great for us as a class as well so stay in high spirits! Big thanks to Gastank for providing the sim results! If you are looking for more info on gear and traits, be sure to check out chickendb.com by Slippykins and Iskalla. And as always, be sure to sim yourself for best results regarding gear sets and for stat weights. Feel free to ask questions in the Dreamgrove if any concerns come along.