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Posts Tagged ‘Frostfire’

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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As a mage there are a few things that we can bring to the table in raids (beside jaw-dropping, meter-smashing dps). Many classes offer Raid utility, and mages are no different. Part of the whole ‘bring the player not the class’ mentality that blizzard subscribes to means there is (almost) always overlap in these utilities. Below I will talk about each one and the overlap it shares with other classes.

There are three utilities, however, that are not shared with anyone else. The lovely Arcane Brilliance, Portals and Ritual of Refreshment. The intelligence from Arcane Brilliance is an incredible buff for mages whether soloing or in a group. Can’t beat more mana and more spell crit, right? It is an incredible boon to all that group with mages too, and is perhaps the single biggest reason to bring a mage to a raid. It lets the casters dps longer and more effectively and lets the healers heal more, which is great! Of course it doesnt buff everyone. I’m reasonably certain warriors, rogues and feral druids dont benefit at all, but thats their loss, big dumb brutes. Some people have no refinement!

Portals are only slightly considered a raid utility. It’s nice to get everyone out and back to a city after raiding. I think a lot of people run around and gem and enchant the gear they just got after raiding. So a quick port to Dalaran and they can hit the bank and then run to a city to hit the AH and they can still hearth back to Dal when it is all done. So it’s not a huge buff to a group, but it is one of the biggest perks of playing a mage for me.

Of course, everyone benefits from Ritual of Refreshment! The largest of which is WoW’s gyms and diet plan companies across Azeroth! If I look back at all the Mana Strudel I have sucked down in the past, I cringe! I think mages are the single group of people responsible for Diabetes and Fatness across Azeroth. Its a terrible cycle, we raid to burn calories but burn health and mana too, so we are forced to eat more strudel! I kid, anyways, its nice to be able to refill mana and health after a boss falls, and its even better when you dont have to pay cash for it. It certainly isnt a huge raid benefit, but it is nice.

So now for the overlap. in 3.2.2 (when I am writing this) there are two buffs that us mages can talent into. The first is an almost necessary buff for those fights that are tougher or just in raids with a lot of dps casters. I’m talking about Imp. Scorch and Winter’s Chill. There is overlap here with each other and a Destro Warlock’s Imp. Shadowbolt. I am not sure if it is considered a must for non destruction warlocks to take, but I think it is personal preference, I’ll not guess at the minds of warlocks, thats spooky stuff.

So what does this mean? Well in a standard raiding setup there is probably going to be a Mage and a Warlock. I have heard that Destro is one of the top raiding builds so if you have a destro lock you dont have to worry about speccing into either of those mage talents. There is also (in 3.2.2) a very good chance you will not be raiding with a Frost mage. They just cant put up competitive dps. I can just break 3k dps as a frost mage, but thats 25man buffed. However all Frost mages will take Winter’s chill because of its other benefits, so if you see a Frost mage and you are Fire you don’t have to worry about Imp. Scorch. Since Imp. Scorch provides NO other benefit there isnt much of a reason to take it. However if you do find yourself being the only person in your regular raid group you may consider taking the Glyph of Imp. Scorch. It makes being the Scorcher all the more easy. The only benefit, really,  is a slight dps increase (since you dont lose dps casting scorch 5 times) and if you ever can’t reapply the 5 stack because of moving or other boss mechanics you dont have to cast it 5 times again. That being said, I dont find casting scorch 5 times to be that bad, and it is pretty easy watching the debuff if you are paying attention. As a Frostfire or Fireball mage there are many other glyphs that will increase your dps more.

The last buff a Mage can bring is Replenishment. This is a Frost only ability that is applied passively by casting Frostbolts when you have specced into the Enduring Winter talent waaaay down the Frost tree. For 3.2.2 its a must to keep your elemental out as much as possible and to justify raiding as Frost. Replenishment is also applies by Survival Hunters, Ret Pallies, and Shadowpreists so there is a good chance someone else is applying it. But Replenishment only effects 10 people in your raid so a 25 man raid of all mana user would need 3 replenishers to make sure its up on everyone all the time. It’s more than likely you will only need 2 though. Also the other replenishers above dont need to lose a lot of dps by speccing into replenishment. Only Frost is poor in comparison to the other dps specs available to potential replenishers.

Also a note for the future:
Word has it that 3.3 will make Frost a viable DPS spec (woooot!). I am totally raiding Frost as soon as 3.3 hits. Also Arcane will be providing a Spell damage debuff to mobs as well. Last I heard it was 3% spell damage passivly just from casting normal Arcane spells. So who knows what the future will hold for Mage’s Raid utility.

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Once you hit 80 there are essentially 4 Talent specs to choose from. There is one per talent tree and one major variation. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide to all the specs. As you get settled in your spec of choice you will want to try variations. I will be giving sample specs and talking a little about each one as well as giving the standard rotations for each. In each spec I have made sure to take all the DPS increasing talents as well as some of the ‘optional’ talents with the points left over. So here it goes:

Arcane Spec (53/3/11)
Arcane is a great spec for a new mage. A lower hit cap (thanks to Precision in Frost and Arcane Focus) and a relatively  easy to pull off Spell Rotation make it the best to get rolling as a starting raider. 

Rotation:

  1. Arcane Blast x4
  2. If Missile Barrage Procs then cast Arcane Missiles (if it doesnt, keep casting Arcane Blast 2-3 more times until it procs and if it still hasnt just go with a standard Arcane Missiles or Arcane barrage if you are forced to move).
  3. Repeat 

Pretty easy, right? In mix matched Blues and Greens you should be able to hit about 2k DPS with this spec and rotation. The key thing is to keep an eye on your Arcane Blast debuff and watch for your Missle Barrage procs. With every Arcane Blast cast you have a higher chance to proc Missle Barrage. 9 times out of 10 you will get the proc before you cast your 4th Arcane Blast, but if not keep trying to get it to proc with Arcane Blasts. its not worth going too far without the proc, your mana will start going down fast, so dump the debuff with a Barrage or standard missles. When moving about make sure not to let your Arcane Blast debuff wear off. If you have to move because of a void cricle or some such boss mechanic, toss out an Arcane Barrage to use up the debuff.

Frostfire Spec (0/53/18)
Frostfire is the major variation I spoke of earlier. It is essentially a Fire build but goes into Frost to boost the main nuke of the build Frostfire Bolt. It is a solid spec that only came to being in WOLK. Pretty fun and slightly easier on Hit (thanks to Precision in the Frost tree) than its badder, hotter brother Fireball spec, but very similar. It doesn’t have a rotation as much as a Priority system, making it a bit more complicated than Arcane.

Rotation:

  1. Keep Living Bomb up at all times
  2. Keep the improved Scorch debuff up at all times. Scorch untill 5 stacks and maintain.
  3. When Hot Streak procs cast Pyroblast
  4. Cast Frostfire Bolt
  5. Repeat

It isn’t too complicated. It will take some time to practice keeping the debuffs up at all times, but when you can nail that Frostfire will shine. Another good thing about Frostfire is it’s one of the best soloing specs as is. The slow on your main nuke is great for keeping the baddies at bay, and a Pyroblast will half an enemy mob’s health bar easily.

Fireball TTW Spec (20/51/0)
This is one of the most damaging specs a mage can have. It comes at a big disatvantage. There isnt a single hit increasing talent in the build. You will need a whole bunch of hit before you even want to try this spec. It plays almost exactly like the Frostfire Bolt spec above, but you substitute Fireball for Frostfire Bolt. So if you have been getting lots of hit gear and are comfortable rolling Frostfire you will be at home here, and be doing more damage.  

Rotation:

  1. Keep Living Bomb up at all times
  2. Keep the improved Scorch debuff up at all times. Scorch untill 5 stacks and maintain.
  3. When Hot Streak procs cast Pyroblast
  4. Cast Fireball
  5. Repeat

It isn’t too complicated. It will take some time to practice keeping the debuffs up at all times, but when you can nail that Fireball will shine. Just stack that Hit and pew pew!

Frost Spec (18/0/53)
Though generally considered ‘not raid viable’ Frost can shine in select fights. More survivability, the most raid utility (replenishment, healing reduction from Permafrost, and Spell Crit increase debuff) and a friendly companion. I love love love frost. For now it wont do as much damage as any other specs, but a good frost mage can still rock good dps. You get some Hit increase (Precision) which is nice, but soloing takes a hit as to do the most damage you need to use the glyph of Frostbolt which removes the slowing effect.

Rotation:

  1. Cast Frostbolt

Yep, thats about it. Nice and simple. Try and keep your water elemental out whenever you can. If you are moving toss out some Ice Lances. 

So that is the 4 major specs for raiding as a mage. Out of the box those specs should work very well when following the rotation, but the only way you will become a better mage will be trying new specs and rotational variations. I hope these will provide a good starting point for your newly 80 (or freshly respecced) mage. Good hunting!

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