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Mages

Shamelessly stolen but updated so mostly my own content:

1. Since Icy Veins was introduced, the "best" raid spec is 0/47/11 with 3 points to spend whereever you like. This allows you to get all the raiding talents in Fire, and Icy Veins which provides a nice DPS boost. It also means you don't have to spec 3 points in the wrong tree to get Elemental Precision as you did before Icy Veins was introduced, when the best raiding spec was Fire/Arc. Obviously it's possible to do pretty good DPS in a different spec, but if everyone in the guild uses fire we all get a 15% buff and scorch is far more likely to get refreshed, yay. (That and the fact it is *the* raiding spec currently are the reasons I've recommended it to anyone who's asked.)

2. If you have two gathering professions, consider dropping one to level tailoring. If you already have a crafting profession though I wouldn't bother, as both enchanting and engineering also provide useful gear for mages, and frankly, it's probably not worth dropping to pick up the tiny buff from Spellfire/Spellstrike.

3. The best spell rotation for the above build is scorch until fully debuffed, then fireball with a fireblast every time it's cooled down. After a certain gear level you will find fireblast will actually lower your DPS as it gets less benefit from your +dam. After this point it's just scorch up to 5 debuffs, 8 fireballs (or 7 if you've got bad lag!), scorch, 8 fireballs, etc etc.

4. If you think your ping is causing you to lose casting time, then get an addon like Quartz. This will track lag and give you an idea of when you can cast another spell (note - this is usually not when your client thinks you can, unless you're sitting right next to their data centre ;) ). I've heard this makes a huge difference, but it depends very much on how good you are at casting before it's finished casting the previous spell onscreen. I'm pretty good at it, but I'm unsure whether this is just me being good at judging how long a fireball *should* take to cast and my ping, or everyone's good at it. I've heard tales of 10% DPS increases, but I think these are exaggerations or from people with *really* bad lag who never start casting before they hit a full castbar.

5. With the change to Mana Emerald it's now efficient to cast another one if you run out during a long boss fight. This is especially beneficial on fights like Lurker, as there's no enrage timer so the fight can last 15 minutes or so if DPS is low, or lots of people die early on.

6. If you were one of the people who used a mod to equip a high spirit staff for evocate, get a new mod and a high int staff for the same effect.

7. Molten armour is win. Especially with the spec above you're unlikely to run out of mana. On long bosses you may wish to use Mage Armour though (especially after the next patch with mana regen based on a combination of spi and int rather than just spi).

8. If you have combustion up, casting fireblast before your fireball or scorch lands will only use up one charge for both spells, however, your fireball ignite will then overwrite your fireblast overwrite. Also, remember to refresh the scorch debuff *before* you pop combustion else you'll waste charges on refreshing scorch.

9. On fights where you have to move lots, scorch and fireblast are very useful. Hopefully you've already been using these, but it's worth a mention. I tend to find on Void Reaver I have time to get a fireball off after being notified of an orb on me, even without blinking out of range, however if you tend to get caught by orbs, don't risk it. Dead mages do no damage!

10. Hit is your most valuable stat until you hit the cap (164 for mages with the above spec, less for frost mages (as frostbolt gains an extra 3% "ghost" +hit from elemental precision). Damage and haste are roughly equal (although I think haste will become much better in the next patch when it also decreases the global cooldown!), with crit being the least important. http://www.manoutoftime.org/staticpages/index.php/tcom is a fantastic website, which will give you ideal spell rotations and also equivalent values of hit, damage, haste, and crit (for example for my gear and spec - 1.00 Damage: 0.77 Hit Rating, 1.79 Crit Rating, 1.08 Haste Rating).

11. Last but not least. Damage is *not* the most important job as a mage. At least not in most raids. Keeping an eye on sheep is the most important task, second is damage, and thirdly is buffing. I have two things to help me sheep (three if you count the xperl focus frame) - a macro which focuses my target and then sheeps it whenever I hit the macro regardless of my target at that point (allowing me to focus my sheep from out of range before we pull and then DPS the skull as much as possible, sheeping every so often), and a mod called control freak (http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info7797-ControlFreak.html). It adds a button which pretty much acts like my macro, but the button has a countdown of time left on sheep which is useful and also says "loose" if sheep breaks or "damage" if the sheep is broken by damage, so you know it may have a DoT on it and just rebreak (although you should *always* resheep, as it's quicker to just hit your macro than to check whether or not your focus has a DoT and *then* resheep). My macro is here:

#showtooltip Polymorph(Rank 4)
/clearfocus [modifier:shift]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [target=focus,exists,harm] Polymorph(Rank 4)

To remove focus you have to shift click the macro, but the macro automatically clears your focus if it's dead.

(I think if you download controlfreak then /click ControlFreakFrame will do the same as the above macro, but I made the macro first, and I know some people don't like seemingly unnecessary addons, so I've left the macro above intact.)

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Page last modified on February 16, 2008, at 12:57 PM