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Mages: It's that time!

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  • Mages: It's that time!

    We're just a week or two out from 1.11 hitting and Mages get your big respec. There's a lot of changes in the mage build, and I think that our raiding mages might want to chat a bit about how their going to build their specs.

    I know right now we have a lot of Arcane spec mages. If you look at the talent calculator for mages in 1.11,, I think you'll find that our raiding mages may want to split fire and frost instead of Arcane. One of the reasons is Arcane Missiles is too buggy of a spell, and will remain too buggy of a spell, to be useful on so many bosses. I've had a lot of people ask me why our mages use AM so much, and my only response is that that's how their built. AM unfortunately isn't very mana efficient damage, and doesn't appear to improve in the patch.

    I'd like to suggest to our magi friends to consider some elemental builds so that we can make use of two debuffs: Winter's Chill in the frost tree and Improved Scorch in the Fire tree. If you look at Improved scorch, it's damage bonus has been improved significantly and it requires two fewer talent points that previous.

    I've talked to some people who said to me, "but we fight so many things that are immune to fire!" Whilst this is true in MC, we're not only doing MC and we'll be approaching bosses where we want both debuffs available if possible. Hakkar is a great example of where we can make use of Improved Scorch: since so much damage can be loaded in a minute and a half between Blood Siphons, a combination of Curse of Elements, Imp. Scorch, and Curse of Shadow will increase the overall DOT efficiency as well as the front-end damage efficiency of mage and warlock spells to an absurd extend. Let's not forget that Hakkar locks his aggro table, so Warlocks can be spamming searing pain and soulfire whilst mages load up with pyroblast and fireball; alternatively if we have more frost mages one night then we can get a major improvement from their DPS as well as the gained effect of chilling spells.

    Here's an example of a heavy fire build that might be good for endgame:

    Notice how in the elemental trees there are talents that mutually benefit both fire and frost spells. I think that's an awesome thing, and should probably be maximized. Of particular interest is the Master of Elements talent, which I think all mages should invest in.

    Now granted, I don't play a mage, but from what I've seen raiding in 20 and 40 man environments, I think that a build similar to this would significantly enhance the lifespan, mana pool and damage output of our mages to a useful degree. I know that if I was leading a raid, I'd love to have this sort of mage out and about.

    Let me know what you all think.

  • #2
    Re: Mages: It's that time!

    I have considered the following specs:(all specs will at least have Arc. Con. for the clearcasting state)





    Give me some feed back on these.

    "REMEMBER! Pillage first THEN Burn!"


    • #3
      Re: Mages: It's that time!

      All the builds I've looked at drop 10 points in arcane for clearcasting. It's just so necessary.


      • #4
        Re: Mages: It's that time!

        There is another reason mages use AM all the time...Both fire and ice add dubuffs to the mob. We have been told that because of the debuff limit, we need to NOT use those spells. I am a fire mage myself. AM is steady damage.I can do more damage with my fire spells but don't. Actually, I don't want to out damage Chair. He might just cry!


        • #5
          Re: Mages: It's that time!

          All right Ark, you've forced my hand to make this public. I think Arcane spec is superior for the following reasons:
          1. Arcane is resisted by less mobs than any other in all endgame instances we run to date. My fire and frost spells are resisted 4x as much.

          2. There are many Mana increasing, regen increasing properties in the arcane tree.

          3. Arcane missles is less mana efficient UNLESS there is a judgment of wisdom on the target. One casting of arcane missles costs 595 mana and does a base of about 1000 damage. My base with this spell is actually 264 per, so 1320 base for me, with several crits/ casting not including arcane power, which can cause a 600 crit missle for a possible 3000 crit/cast if they all crit. Judgement of wisdom restores 59 mana per hit, but arcane missles hit for 5 missles per casting, so that restores 295 mana making the final cost 300 mana. Much more efficient, especially if you have regen going on during the cast.

          4. Arcane Missles are smaller damage more often. This type of damage draws agro far less often. I have noticed on the threat meter, a mage (who will remain unnamed here) was using fire. They drew aggro off the MT a couple times, and stayed high on the TM, yet were much farther down on the damage meter.

          5. In the arcane tree, I've made my arcane missles non-interruptable by damage, so unless I'm gouged/kicked etc., I keep casting.

          6. Channeled spells move your toon to track the target automatically, so if your target is moving around, unless it bursts directly behind you, as a serger sometimes does, you continue to cast.

          I agree that the Missles sometimes continue to cast after you jump for one last shot I like to call Mage Spit, since I often spit on an enemy after I plant it in the dirt, so we should choose which bosses we will make these tabboo against, like the spider boss or Shazz, where agro is wiped. I still plan to stay UBER arcane with the new patch, though I do plan to take that elemental talent in the frost tree.
          Anahlahna and Friends


          • #6
            Re: Mages: It's that time!

            Arcane Tree is actually getting some majorly useful skills in it. Also, IMHO, the elemental build is still gonna suck. I'm very very very skeptical about it. I don't even know why, but I can't find a way to make the points work together. It's probably because to get the most damage out of a fire or ice build you need to invest a fair amount into the specific elemental tree of your choosing.

            Your raiding mages use AM because it's steady damage that won't pull aggro plus has the following glitchy benefits:

            1. If you begin casting AM and the target moves OOR, you will continue to cast and do damage to it even though the OOR notice comes up.

            2. Especially in the case of Lava Surgers/Annihilators, AM will allow the caster to sometimes follow the target even if it charges behind them and preventing the spell interruption that would happen with any other spell.


            This is the build I've been looking at. Check out those other Arcane talents for a second, ...

            1. Arcane Subtlety has been majorly buffed. Yes, the threat reduction is still only for Arcane damage, but the talent now also decreases enemy resistance to all your spells. Which means your combat log won't look so much like this anymore:

            Lava Surger has resisted your Fireball.
            Lava Surger has resisted your Fireball.
            Lava Surger has resisted your Fireball.
            Lava Surger has resisted your Fireball.
            Lava Surger has resisted your Fireball.
            .... etc.

            2. Magic Absorbtion: Full points in this talent increases all your resistances by 10. Add that on top of Mage Armor and every mage has 25 base magic resistance, ... add Tier 1 piece bonuses like the +10 FR on the headpiece and other pieces, ... you start not having to have specific FR gear. Then you can keep your +stats/+dmg gear on and you don't need to nerf yourself to stay alive. Plus think of the extra bag space! Also anytime you resist a spell, 5% of your total mana is restored. Now, if you have a big enough mana pool, that's at least a spell or two even, depending. That's a big deal in the long battles of raiding.

            The interesting thing I've found about mages is that as far as speccing is concerned a lot of different things can work and will work well. There are certain abilities which are preferred for different things, but pretty much any kind of mage brings something to the table.

            I'm personally weary of the elemental build, but I'm sure someone SOMEWHERE will find a way for it to work out. And I'm sure I'll try it eventually.

            Most importantly, *sings* it's the maaaage patch it's the maaaage patch!!!


            EDIT: I repeated some stuff Anah said, whoops :) As far as using AM on Shazz, ... don't. Ever. He's highly resistant to Arcane and the damage is puny when you use it. I've tried. Your 300/tick AM becomes 50/tick. Booerns.


            • #7
              Re: Mages: It's that time!

              Something of note is that frostbite (chance to freeze target) and shatter (increased crit on frozen targets) are very powerful talents...on the road to 60.

              Once you start raiding every single boss and about 95% of the trash mobs are immune to the snare and freeze of your ice spells. If you do fight one of the 5% of mobs that can be snared/frozen then said affect will get removed as 39 other people are hitting it before you can cast your next spell. You won't get much out of those talents if you decide to pick them up at level 60.

              On the plus side, that means that using frostbolts on mobs won't take up a debuff slot and rumor has it oh so many mobs in MC have frost vulnerability.

              Fire spells are laughable in MC since the mobs have more fire resist than the raid for the most part. In BWL things don't get much better. AQ you can start using them because of the shift in focus from FiR to NR. Naxx will be the fire spell haven like MC is for frost spells.
              My sanity is not in question...
              It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.

              Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.


              • #8
                Re: Mages: It's that time!

                Dewi has been elemental since hitting lvl 60, for 85 days of playing, is rarely OOM and damages nicely in all instances. Elemental builds are clean, versatile and efficient.


                • #9
                  Re: Mages: It's that time!

                  Okay for my 1000 post about mage specs, i'm going to comment on the mage respecs since i have spent countless hours and gold on the test server trying different builds out.

                  The frost tree is still by far the best tree out there, with winter's chill it takes roughly 10 sec. to get it fully stacked on any mob no matter if it's a boss, trash, or some other random mob in the world.

                  Secondly topping that with the Elementalist talent will make a frost/fire spec mage get the same effect as clearcasting.

                  They have increased the base damage of Arcane Missle in the patch, but it's still a mana hog and cause more aggro then frost even with the reduced threat talent.

                  I know that there is a talent in the arcane tree that allows mana regeneration while casting but you have to waste a point to get 150 armor, which isn't going to save a mages life, and imho is a total waste of a talent point.

                  Over all there are major improvements in both the Fire and Frost tree, like no cooldown for Pyroblast, more damage with improved scorched, winter's chill, and Ice Barrier is worth it now since they changed how it stacks with other shields and the cooldown time on it. Plus there are other good improvements in both the fire and frost tree.

                  As far as resisted spells go, when i take alava to MC maybe 8 or 10% of my frostbolts are resisted. But that is how frost was built and why it remains the lowest aggro school of magic and imo is the best for end game.

                  Those are just some of my thoughts on the up coming patch and which direction i would say to go for end game.
                  70 Night Elf Priest-Lunaar(holy)
                  70 Human Mage-Alava(Fire)
                  70 Night Elf Hunter-Insai(Beast Master)
                  70 Dwarf Paladin-Ginoldor(Protection)
                  70 Human Warrior-Revenged(Protection)
                  70 Draenei Shaman-Tianora(Elemental)
                  70 Draenei Shaman-Fayrel(Restoration)
                  50 Undead Priest-Eikyl(Shadow)


                  • #10
                    Re: Mages: It's that time!

                    It's strange... they gave us some of the really good arcane talents for free and replaced them with lesser talents and now lots of mages hate the arcane tree. While they are lesser talents, at least you dont have to spend points on instant AE or evocation in 1.11.

                    Still, the fire/frost trees (mainly frost) is so much better that putting points into arcane seems like a waste. And I will agree, most of the arcane tree is a waste when compared to the elemental trees.

                    Now, I speak for myself, a mixed pvp/pve mage.

                    The arcane tree is now mostly filler talents to get to PoM and AP. ICS is great for PvP, and Clearcasting is a nice mana saver, but not essential. The rest of the arcane tree is nothing special. Sure, some of the talents are ok, but its nothing jaw dropping.

                    Both the fire and frost tree have lots of good/great talent throughout them; not just at the bottom. I feel that improved flamestrike is still crappy, master of elements just isn't worth it, and combustion is still lacking. But that's only 3 talents in a whole tree.

                    The frost tree is just amazing now. Frost warding isn't that great mainly because the small amount of armor doesn't really mean much and I only use frost ward once in a blue moon or two. But that is just one talent in the whole tree. And if you were going for a fire shatter build, I would recommend that over 2 points into improved frostbolt.

                    Honestly, I am considering not getting Clearcasting or ICS for this frost build:


                    Yes, a pure frost build - nice pve and pvp benefits, with excellent survivability and mana efficiency.

                    I also want to try a fire build at some time, but this seems more appealing right now.
                    Zeeg - Gnomish Giant Slayer


                    • #11
                      Re: Mages: It's that time!

                      Originally posted by Tarenth
                      Something of note is that frostbite (chance to freeze target) and shatter (increased crit on frozen targets) are very powerful talents...on the road to 60.

                      Once you start raiding every single boss and about 95% of the trash mobs are immune to the snare and freeze of your ice spells. If you do fight one of the 5% of mobs that can be snared/frozen then said affect will get removed as 39 other people are hitting it before you can cast your next spell. You won't get much out of those talents if you decide to pick them up at level 60.
                      You make a very good point ... if your only interest after 60 is raiding. If you plan to PvP or farm or do lower-level instances ever, ... it's not such a waste. Personally, I do everything with Adrielle, so those skills come in very handy, especially when farming.

                      Fire spells are laughable in MC since the mobs have more fire resist than the raid for the most part.
                      From my personal experience as a former-fire-mage-in-MC, I've found that for the most part, this is a myth. In fact I had higher DPS in MC as a fire mage in MC than as a frost mage. Frost mages are dependent on +dmg gear to get decent damage, and I've found that my frost spells get resisted as much as my fire did. The problem only arises when you get to fights like Baron Geddon, who is immune to fire damage. I've seen 1600-1800 fire crits in MC and nothing higher than a 1400 frost crit. There are other advantages to being an ice mage ... but that is for another thread, another day. :)


                      • #12
                        Re: Mages: It's that time!

                        One of the things we're going to need to break away from is the use of Curse of Doom. It's not worth it, imo, to lose those debuffs slots on a target, not when you can do more damage with better aggro management with Scorch and frost effect debuffs. We need to be burning giant pairs down in 30-45 seconds, not 90 seconds or more, if we want to do MC in a night. We need to move faster, and the healer's are spending too much mana on those giant pairs.




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