Posts Tagged ‘Utility’

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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