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Posts Tagged ‘3.3’

So recently the Frost talent Brain Freeze was changed so that the proc can also make your FrostFire Bolt instant cast and mana free. This is a big boon to Frost Mages everywhere. Lets face it, Fireball did not scale well for a Frost Mage.  However FrostFire at least benefits from many of our Talents we are taking to bolster our Frostbolt. There was a point somewhere around Ulduar and the beginning of ToC where it was actually a dps loss to include a brain-freezed (brain-froze? meh.) Fireball in your rotation, the loss of the global cooldown that could be used to cast your next Frostbolt was worse then the damage of a Fireball. It was still useful for fights with lots of moving, if everything lined up right (yeah right). It was better than an Ice Lance, I guess, but not worth 3 talent points. But now its just about worth it. So in honor of eating ice-cream quickly I present a new Frost raiding spec:

18/0/53 Frost Raiding Spec 3.3.3

This spec includes Brain Freeze and spices up your rotation… a little.
Now you will spam the crap out of Frostbolt until Fingers of Frost procs then Deep Freeze, and as soon as Brain Freeze Procs toss a FrostFire bolt out. Deep Freeze is the first priority, of course.

I also took some time to tweak a few other things in the spec. Like only taking 1 point in Enduring Winter. When spamming Frostbolt all the time, a 33% chance of proccing Replenishment is enough to keep it going. If you have issues then you could toss another point in there from Frost Channeling (if you dont have mana issues) or Permafrost If you have another raider on your side that does the Mortal Strike healing debuff thingy.=

So there you go. please let me know how you fair with this spec, if you get a chance to use it. Good Hunting!

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In the previous post I covered Minor Glyphs.  Now its time to move onto Major Glyphs. While minors only make life a little easy, majors can make a huge difference on your dps and survivability. They often define a spec. They are also often a test bed for changes. Blizzard likes to make changes to glyphs then if things work well shift the glyph ability to the core power or talent (like scorch, the glyph used to make it apply all 5 stacks of the debuff then they changed the glyph and made it part of the baseline Imp. Scorch Talent).

I’m going to take this Spec By Spec. For the most part the spec/ glyph streams will not be crossed, but hey, who knows what kind of wild spec you kids are using nowadays.  Anyways, I’ll start with the 3 “must have, top o’ the line (the Big Three)” glyphs for each spec then address the others that could be taken/ have at least a slight value to said spec. here goes:

Arcane

The Big Three for Arcane

Glyph of Arcane Blast – This is a very important glyph for anyone that raids arcane. Straight up 3% damage buff makes it a clear must have. This is also for you arcane pvpers too, as you should be tossing out at least one Blast before you AM or ABarr.

Glyph of Arcane Missiles – Chances are your AMs crit at least once during a Missile Barrage. And if you drop a Presence of Mind (with points in Arcane Potency, of course) before you AM, there is a good chance all 5 Missiles will crit. This means a lot more damage for those missiles. This makes this glyph a huge boon to your dps.

Glyph of Molten Armor – you will see this Glyph a lot on this list. No matter what spec I am in (other than pvp perhaps), I use this glyph. It’s a straight boost to Crit and there isn’t that many other Arcane Glyphs that make a huge difference, so this is the go to glyph. If you are raiding, you should probably have this glyph, since you will always be in Molten Armor (it’s the only dps increasing armor), except if you have mana issues. And if you buy it once, no matter how many respecs you make you can just leave this glyph there!

Other Glyphs for Arcane

Glyph of Arcane Power – This is actually a DPS increasing Glyph. 3 more seconds of Arcane Power up while you blow other cooldowns/ trinkets could put it above some of the ‘Big Three for Arcane’, but it’s too close for me to do the math, and 3 seconds just doesn’t seem worth dropping any of the ‘Big Three’

Glyph of Arcane Barrage – Oh sure, it’s an Arcane Glyph, but in a raiding environment, its crap. First, you should only rarely be casting Arcane Barrage. Only if you have to move and have some stacks of Arcane Blast up, or if you have to move for a while and still want to cast. However, in PvP (well arenas mostly) you may consider this Glyph, cause mana is a big factor there.

Glyph of Arcane Explosion – This suffers from the same issues of the above glyph, It just drops the mana cost of a spell you just shouldn’t be using. Sure Arcane Explosion looks neat, but if you are AoEing as Arcane, then you should probably just use Blizzard…

Frost

The Big Three for Frost

Glyph of Eternal Water – This. Glyph. Is. Awesome. Permanent Water Elemental? Yes please! Oh! When I summon him, then mount up, he stays summoned and follows me around?! Heck yeah! Nothing says I am Frost hear me roar better than a water elemental chillin’ next to you while mounted. Anyways this is a big Frost DPS increase, and there is NO REASON not to take this glyph if you raid frost. Do it. Now, if only we could heal the damn thing like other pet classes. Cause he does take damage and healers just don’t bother healing him (or her? It, maybe?) or other pets most of the time.

Glyph of Frostbolt – I hate this glyph. 5% damage increase is about as good as it gets with a dps increasing glyph, but to give up my snare? To be honest (shhhh, don’t tell my Raid Leader…), I usually don’t use this glyph while raiding. I used to keep a stack of this glyph in my bags so if I raid in frost I would just put it on then when I was done raiding I’d take it off, but that got too much for me. I got sick of switching glyphs every raid, so now i don’t bother. I usually raid Arcane anyways, but when I do go frost (for healing debuff or replenishment) ill just stay Glyph of Frostbolt-less. However, if you are a serious Frost Raider you should put this glyph on. 5% damage increase is awesome.

Glyph of Molten Armor – Here it is again! In-case you skipped the fist mention of this glyph: No matter what spec I am in (other than pvp perhaps), I use this glyph. It’s a straight boost to Crit and there isn’t that many other Frost Glyphs that make a huge difference, so this is the go to glyph. If you are raiding, you should probably have this glyph, since you will always be in Molten Armor (it’s the only dps increasing armor), except if you have mana issues. And if you buy it once, no matter how many respecs you make you can just leave this glyph there!

Other Glyphs for Frost

Glyph of Ice Lance – Meh, maybe for pvp this is nice, where you run a lot casting it, but even then, is it worth a glyph spot? Id say no. Even at 4 times the damage, you are still better off casting Frostbolt.

Glyph of Frostfire – For those of you who put some points in Brain Freeze this may be worth something. Back when it only worked on fireball, I always skipped this talent. I’m not sure how much of an increase it is to cast Frostfire bolt now, It may be back to a DPS increase. If that is the case then you may want to consider this glyph in place of Frostbolt if you want to keep your snare. I’m going to be messing with my Frost spec soon, and will include this and let you know in an other post.

Glyph of Frost Nova – This is a must for AoE grinding. I would highly recommend this glyph for a leveling frost mage, or for someone whose frost spec is for soloing/ farming. That extra amount of damage means two frostbolts can smash into someone before they are free. Very nice, but not useful at all in a raiding environment unless you are on zombie duty on Gluth

Glyph of Water Elemental – This used to be a Big Three Frost glyph, but the Glyph of Eternal Water kicked its wet butt. Still very nice for pvp, where you still want your elemental’s ranged frost nova, but not for raiding.

Glyph of Icy Veins – meh. This is kinda nice for a pvp spec… kind of. Back when I had a spec dedicated to Frost pvp, I didn’t even use it, but it is kind of nice to have another get out of snare free ability.

Glyph of Deep Freeze –  Okay for pvp, but the extra range doesn’t matter in raiding because Deep Freeze has the same range as Frostbolt, so you wont have to move to cast the spell.

Glyph of Ice Barrier – This is kind of neat and I had it when I pvped as Frost. the little extra helps a bunch, but for Raiding Frost it’s not worth the Glyph slot.

Fire

The Big Three for Fire (and Frostfire)

Glyph of Fireball – A must for Fireballers everywhere. This used to increase crit chance, but the funny thing about fire is they got crit up the waazoo, and with the right trinkets and some uber gear bleeding edge Fire Mages were crit capped. A spec built around critting can only go so far, so now this glyph offers a casting speed decrease. This glyph gets rid of the DoT which at first I hated, but you spam fireball so much that it never ticked more than once or twice so the damage was negligible. Now that the cast time is decreased it gets even less chance to tick, so there isn’t any loss. If you are Fireball Specced, this is a must.

Glyph of Frostfire – If you are Frostfire specced take this glyph instead of the Glyph of Fireball. It is a straight up damage and crit increase, so there is nothing worth thinking about? Buff to my main nuke? Yes please!

Glyph of Living Bomb – This is a huge boon to Fire dps. Like I mentioned above, if you raid fire, you have plenty of crit and you should ALWAYS have Living bomb on the target (but don’t clip it, let it explode at the end). And now it can (and will!) crit?! heck yeah!

Glyph of Molten Armor – Wow here is a shocker! If anything fire is where this glyph belongs. Here it is again, anyways. In-case you skipped the fist mention of this glyph: No matter what spec I am in (other than pvp perhaps), I use this glyph. It’s a straight boost to Crit and there isn’t that many other Frost Glyphs that make a huge difference, so this is the go to glyph. If you are raiding, you should probably have this glyph, since you will always be in Molten Armor (it’s the only dps increasing armor), except if you have mana issues. And if you buy it once, no matter how many respecs you make you can just leave this glyph there!

Other Glyphs for Fire and Frostfire

Glyph of Fire Blast – Pvp only. Raid bosses can’t be stunned, so nothing here. I’m not even sure you’d get it as Fire PvP, though you use Fire Blast a lot (especially for its stun with talents). But mage isn’t exactly the lock down kind of class. however if you are running pvp with some big time stunners, then this might be worth it. 50% crit increase for a fire mage is pretty fine, especially for an instant spell.

Glyph of Scorch – This used to be a Big Three for Fire, it kept the loss from applying the scorch buff to a minimum, but now its just a damage increase, while the talent takes care of the debuff by keeping it at full effect. However, if you hate the other glyphs you could take this to keep the times that you do have to cast scorch not drop your dps too much.

Other Glyphs for Any Spec

or those other glyphs you might take sometime, maybe, but probably not…

Glyph of Mage Armor – if you have Mana issues then you may look into taking this glyph over Glyph of Molten Armor. This is only for starting Mages. Once you start getting your Triumph badge gear, You should drop this toot-sweet for Glyph of Molten Armor, but it could help a lot when you are starting out.

Glyph of Ice Armor – Meh, if you are raiding and have mana issues use Mage Armor. If you don’t have mana issues use Molten Armor. If you exclusively duel or pvp against melee classes, then use Ice Armor? I guess…

Glyph of Mana Gem – This is the same as the above Glyph. If you have mana issues maybe this would help. you can still use Molten Armor, but have a bit more Mana.

Glyph of Evocation – I love this glyph for PvP, soloing and leveling. You get evocation at 20 and you wouldn’t be bad off picking this glyph then. It’s a huge amount of health and mana, and eases downtime while farming and leveling. Terrific for everything! Except raiding…

Glyph of Mirror Image – The only good thing about this glyph is that when you inevitably take off all your toon’s clothes, cast Mirror Image, and start dancing there is one more image chilling next to you. But then again, if threes a crowd, then 4 is an orgy and those nakey mages have a weird look in their eyes…

Glyph of Polymorph – This is nice for pvp if you team with people with dots. It’s a waste of a caste if you sheep someone who was just DoTed up. But I’m not sure what build you would put this in, just don’t sheep them if they got DoT, sheep someone else and nuke the Dotted one.

Glyph of Remove Curse – Good for fighting Warlocks? Maybe? I don’t know. In a raid there is a good chance that same person you just decursed won’t get cursed again within 4 secs, but I could be wrong.

Glyph of Ice Block – This is kind of useless, imho. In PvP, you Ice block to get a few seconds of breathing room and to get a few seconds down until your cooldowns are ready to go. Now you could wait the full length of Ice Block for your Frost Nova to be off cooldown, or you could waste the glyph slot and iceblock, cancel it then Frost Nova. I guess if used right this Glyph could be great, but it just doesn’t hold up for me.

Glyph of Invisibility – 10 secs extra is pretty nice, but it be even better if it let you see other people, instead. 10 secs extra just means its more likely you will pop out if invis in the middle of a pack of mobs or something. meh.

Glyph of Blink – ummmm, I don’t know why this exists. if it reduced the cooldown of blink by even a couple seconds it would be great for pvp, but instead you get 5 extra yards of room for blink to fail at blinking. You may have been able to just make it to that raised doorway before, but now its with in the range of blink and guess what? oh! you just make the blink sound and effect and now you are exactly where you were… great….

And that, as they say is that!

Did I get something wrong? If I demeaned a glyph you love please let me know! I’d love to get others perspectives. Good hunting!

~Mandrus

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So, I’ve dealt with specs in this blog, though come 3.3.3 there will be some changes to them, which I’ll cover soon. In the meantime, I thought I’d take 2 posts to talk a little more in-depth about mage Glyphs. I’m going start nice and easy with Minor Glyphs.

For the most part Minor Glyphs really live up to their name. They aren’t all the important. As a general rule Minor Glyphs do not affect your toon very much, whether it be DPS or survivability. Minor Glyphs are all about convenience. But some are more convenient than others.

Glyph of Slow Fall – This is as close to mandatory as it gets with Minor Glyphs. I highly recommend every mage everywhere take this glyph as soon as you get the Slow Fall spell (lvl 12 I believe – though you don’t get glyphs until lvl 15). Normally Slow Fall requires a Light Feather to cast, these aren’t that hard to find, but you can’t just buy them off a vendor, so this Glyph will save you a lot of time and/ or money.

Glyph of Blast Wave – If you are a PVE fire mage and you took Blast Wave, I would highly recommend this Glyph. It is especially valuable in a raid environment. The knock back component of Blast Wave is my favorite part of the power, but you will upset your tank to no end if you are knock-backing mobs around while the tank is trying to keep them organized. I would not use this glyph if you are a PvP or Farming specced Fire mage, the knock back is key in those situations.

Glyph of Fire Ward and Glyph of Frost Ward – These make a slight difference in PvP survivability, but are situational at best. When I arenas a while back I had these Glyphs on me, and tried to keep up either ward depending on what classes I was facing. The 5% reflection isn’t going to make you OP, but it will help and these two Glyphs are the only ones for mages that aren’t just cosmetic or convenient.

Glyph of Frost Armor – I’m not sure why this Glyph exists. I suppose its pretty good for leveling as you really only have Frost Armor available at low lvls. So I guess that it is pretty good for soloing, you get to worry less about keeping it up, but it is pretty lacking generally.

Glyph of Arcane Intellect – Here is another one that I’m not sure why it exists. I mean, the two spells it benefits are kind of expensive, mana-wise, but in any raid/ party situation everyone is going to buff up then top off their mana and health with some sweet mana food and drink before the tank pulls. But hey, if you like seeing that little arcane eye thingy appear over your head and like to spam it for some totally cool mage stylin’ at the Dalaran bank then this Glyph is for you.

Glyph of the Penguin – Of course I saved the best for last. If you are in Northrend then a sheep just doesn’t fit in. When in Rome, right? Well, to solve the intellectual and spiritual conflict mages were feeling when they first they sheeped their virginal northrend mob, they created this Glyph. But if you really want to ‘sheep’ in style then you need to head on down to the old world and pick up Polymorph: Pig. You can grab that from this quest that starts here.

Happy Glyphing!!!

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So I get asked what my opinion is on stat priority for mages a decent amount. To that end I thought I’d put together a post containing my thoughts on the matter. It’s not cut and dry for sure. A lot depends on your spec and what you value. I’ve touched on it in previous posts, but only discussing priority of the big ones (hit cap first!). But there are two stats that are fairly ambiguous in their value to a mage. Hast and Crit. So here goes.

Haste

Haste, simply put, decreases the casting time of your spells. At lvl 80 you need 32.79 Haste rating to give you a 1% casting time decrease. Now this gets a little wonky. 1% is a nice number, but 1% of a 3sec casting time spell is a lot more time off that a 1.5sec cast time spell. So typically Haste is a little better for rotations that include longer cast time spells. To that end it is perhaps a little better for Arcane and Fireball/ Frostfire specs.

This also comes with a bit of a caveat. More haste means you eat through your mana pool faster.  That being said, when you get to higher tiers of gear your mana pool is going to get larger and larger. That means that the better gear you have the more the benefits of Haste become clear. It’s all well and good to be casting nearly instant Frostbolts because you stack tons of haste, but it does you no good if you run out of mana in a minute flat.

I think Haste really shines in Arcane builds. Arcane Blast is just long enough that you will see a nice benefit from Haste. It is perhaps the best stat (short of Hit until cap) for Arcane mages. It is super valuable for Fire mages as well, Fireball and Frostfirebolt have very long cast times, but the 2 major Fire specs also have a heavy reliance on crit, so that should be priority one, but haste is a close runner-up.

Crit

Crit is the best stat for new mages. At lvl 80 you need 45.91 crit rating for 1% of critical strike chance. Crit is a straight up dps increase without Haste’s extra mana cost. If you are just starting out as a lvl 80 mage of ANY spec Crit is king. It will hands down give you more bang for your buck. As an early raiding mage you will probably have a lot of issues with your mana pool. It comes with the turf. As you progress to higher and higher tiers of gear you will have less problems with running OOM. But even then Crit is super important. Especially if you are deep into the fire tree (for whatever reason) Crit is important. The more instant cast Pyroblasts you can knock out the better.  And who doesn’t like to see those big numbers popping up all over? It’s probably the most satisfying stat.

Summary

I would recommend stacking Crit until you are rolling in mostly ilvl 232 and up gear (which should be quick in 3.3). Then go for a balance of Haste and Crit. So here is the TLDR version:

  • New Mages should focus on Crit untill you are able to last a long time without mana issues on a raid boss
  • Fireball/ Frostfire Mages always like Crit best, though Haste should never be ignored
  • Arcane Mages like Haste best, but Crit’s large numbers popping up on your screen are so pretty (especially a missle-barraged AM with a crit on each missile. Nothing. More. Satisfying.)
  • Frost Mages like Crit best, but should have a liberal amount of Haste sprinkled in.

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Quel’Delar

So the Battered Hilt dropped for me last night running H FoS on my Druid, which is nice, Seshana could use a new weapon bad.  This starts the Quel’Delar Questline (Alliance/Horde) to eventually get a nice ilvl 251 mace or sword. Now on my Druid ill be taking Lightborn Spire. However if this dropped on my Mage I would be drooling over Quel’Delar, Lens of the Mind. Man, that is an awesome mage weapon!

Anyways you should all try and run the new heroic ICC 5mans for a chance at this Questline. I am about half way done with the chain and it has been a lot of fun so far. Its unconformed if the hilt drops off of regluar ICC 5mans, but I would bet it doesn’t. Even if this thing didnt exist you still can’t beat ilvl 232 from a 5man! There are some fun fights in there and I allready saw some drool worthy mage loot while I was in there.

Good Hunting!

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So, despite frost being “not Raid viable” as DPS goes, I still do it from time to time. Frost does bring some nice raid utility, but in my guild’s 25 mans all that fancy viability isnt needed. We got a warlock bringing the spell crit debuff, a ret pally and some hunters for Replenishment and a bunch of other mages for AI, tables and Portals. I wouldnt be caught dead Rading Frost on a progression encounter, for that I’ll stick with Arcane. But there are times when you need a break. You know its okay to switch to Frost spec when all the drops off of a boss in a Raid are going to D/E (I’m looking at you Ulduar!).

With 3.3 Coming, Frost will be come a little bit less laughable in a raiding environment. To that end I am going ot compare my current Frost Raiding spec to the one I will be using come 3.3, and discuss the differences and where the newly needed points will come from.

For more info on Mage Raiding Specs and Rotations check out this post I made earlier.

So lets look at what a Frost Raiding Build looks like in 3.2.2:

3.2.2 Frost Raiding Spec (18/0/53)

So this spec goes into Arcane for Torment The Weak , but also picks up a few useful odds and ends while in there (Arcane ConcentrationFocus Magic and Magic Absorbtion). But ultimately it is Torment the Weak (TTW) that brings us to arcane, That extra 12% damage is invaluable and will remain so into 3.3.

A majority of this spec goes into the Frost Spec (duh!). I want to touch on a few Frost Talents that make the spec. I’m going to gloss over the big duh Talents. It’s a given that you should take the ones that increase the damage of frost spells and the haste of Frostbolt, but some talents are a little more abstract.

  • Permafrost – The ability to reduce a bosses heals is invaluable. It is a fairly situational occurence, but Wrath has a fair share of bosses that have some form of healing. Being able to reduce that Healing by 20% is amazing even if no one realizes you are doing it.
  • Fingers of Frost and Frostbite – These two Talents are intrinsically linked. This post on the official forums explains it far better than I can. In this 3.2.2 build you dont need Frostbite. you are essentially going to ignore Fingers of Frost procs as you are just going to continue using Frostbolt, only it has an increased crit chance.
  • Cold as Ice – Reducing the cool down of your water elemental is key. In 3.2.2 you want your icy little dude out as much as possible. The water elemental is responsible for a very decent amount DPS for a frost mage and keeping him out as much as possible, and keeping him alive, is key to maintaining top DPS.

The rest of the talents are fairly self-explanatory. Increased Damage this, increased crit that, you get the point. Just keep spamming that Frostbolt button and you’ll do all right for yourself.

So what changes in 3.3? What kind of spec will I be rolling with?

3.3 Frost Raiding Spec (18/0/53)

Same numbers, but there are some key differences. In 3.3 Deep Freeze becomes important. Now besides being nice for PvP, it will also do a very sizable chunk of damage to targets that are permanently immune to stun (read: Raid Bosses). This means that you wont just be spamming Frostbolt untill your fingers fall off. Now on every Fingers of Frost proc you will also toss out a Deep Freeze. This alone should be a sizeable increase in Frost DPS, but the fun doesnt stop there!

There will be a new Glyph for your Water elemental. Here is the PTR Link. Glyph of Eternal Water will make it so your Water Elemental is permanent.  Sure he looses his AoE freeze, but thats almost useless in raids anyways. This makes a big difference on talent expenditure. Now Cold as Ice only really reduces Cold Snap, which is nice, but makes a minimum impact on DPS if it isnt taken in 3.3. I mean on any given boss fight you are only going to be able to use this once in most cases. Also a large part of Enduring Winter is useless too. One point in it is really enough to keep Replenishment up at all times, as you will still be spamming the heck out of Frostbolt.

These changes aren’t enough to make Frost the new hotness, but it is a huge boon to Mage Frost Raiding. The best part is there will be very little effect in PvP. PvP frost probably wont take the glyph, because that AoE freeze is invaluable there, and in PvP no one is permanently immune to stuns. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to change to another spec for progression raiding, but now you shouldn’t be embarrassed to be casting Frostbolts in a raid!

Good Hunting!
-Mandrus

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