Talents & Glyphs

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Talents & Glyphs

Post by Massiders on Thu 12 Aug 2010, 2:56 pm

There are currently several specs vying for highest raid DPS (via simulationcraft):

57/3/11: Arcane with Icy Veins
Crazy, meter-topping DPS, but requires more nuance and mana management. Good with movement and great burst damage.
Key gylphs: Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, Molten Armor
More information on Elitist Jerks Arcane Thread

0/53/18: Frostfire
Frostfire Bolt benefits from both Frost and Fire talents. Easier on mana, but more streaky damage due to crits. Excellent for raid-wide spell damage debuff
Key gylphs: Frostfire, Improved Scorch, Molten Armor
More information on Elitist Jerks FFB Thread

20/51/0: Deep Fire with Torment the Weak
Basically same gameplay as FFB spec, but using Fireball as the primary nuke with the added benefit of Torment the Weak. Requires more Spell Hit due to lack of Precision talent.
Key gylphs: Fireball, Improved Scorch, Molten Armor

Statistics (Hit, Haste, Damage, Crit)

Understanding the nuances of these stats is key to making smart gear choices and maximizing the DPS potential of your existing pieces. You can get breakdowns of the relative values from LHivera's Theorycraft-O-Matic. Everyone's situation is a little different, but the relationship should look like this:

Hit (until cap) > Damage > Haste > Crit

Spell Damage: The amount of damage applied to a particular spell is subject to the following multiplier: (Untalented Cast Time of Spell) / 3.5. Arcane Blast and Frostfire Bolt get 80.429% of your spell damage. More Information at WoW Wiki

Hit Rating: You can't do damage if the mob is resisting your spells. Increasing your Hit Rating can now bring you up to a maximum 100% chance to land the spell. 26.23 Spell Hit Rating = 1% increased chance to hit at level 80. Points of Hit Rating are worthless above the hit cap, so you may need to swap gear depending on your raiding scenario. More Information at WoW Wiki

Haste Rating: This increases your casting speed (which is different from reducing the cast time of your spells) and shortens the global cooldown. Consequently, it will also cause you to burn through mana quicker. 32.79 Spell Haste Rating = 1% increase in casting speed at level 80, meaning your New Casting Time = Base Casting Time after Talents / (1 + (Spell Haste Rating/1570)). Haste is good in all amounts. More Information at WoW Wiki.

Crit Rating: Everyone loves critical hits. 45.91 Spell Crit Rating = 1% increased chance to crit at level 80. Arcane Mages benefit more with the Spell Power talent, while Frostfire Mages get a boost from Ignite and Ice Shards. More Information at WoW Wiki

Other stats like Spell Penetration, Intellect, and Spirit play only a minor role in DPS.
Gear, Gems & Enchants

This is where magelings make the most mistakes. Fortunately, you don't need to fully understand itemization — LootRank and Rawr will handle DPS comparisons for you. .

When gemming Mage gear, always aim for gems with Hit or Spellpower, as they are the superior stats. Your hat should must have a meta gem slot, and it must be gemmed with a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond. You'll need to mix in a couple blue gems to activate the bonus.

Make sure to add a Belt Buckle for an extra gem slot!

For enchants, the choices are very straight-forward:

Head: Arcanum of Burning Mysteries, requires Revered with Kirin Tor
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of the Storm , requires Exalted with Hodir
Cloak: Lightweave Embroidery over Greater Speed
Chest: Powerful Stats
Wrist: Superior Spellpower
Hands: Exceptional Spellpower
Legs: Brilliant Spellthread, or Sanctified Spellthread for Tailors
Feet: Icewalker
Ring: Greater Spellpower for Enchanters
Weapon: Mighty Spellpower


Several options, each with unique benefits to Mage DPS:

Tailoring: Cheap Spellthread and Lightweave Embroidery
Enchanting: Ring Enchants
Jewelcrafting: Prismatic Gems, Twilight Serpent trinket
Engineering: DPS Hat and Hyperspeed Acceleration for gloves
Blacksmithing: Socket Gloves and Socket Bracer
Leatherworking: Fur Lining for bracers
Inscription: Master's Inscription for shoulder
Skinning: Passive Crit Buff
Alchemy: Increased Effect from Pots, Alchemist Stone trinket
Spell Choice & Rotation

DPS as an Arcane Mage is very much a balance of damage and mana. Your baseline rotation for single-target DPS is Arcane Blast x 3 to maximize the damage buff, then Arcane Missiles if Missile Barrage has proc'd, otherwise Arcane Barrage... then repeat. If you're running low on mana, you can shorten your AB stacks. See Tachyon's excellent rotation explanation for more details and Math. For AOE with more than 3 targets, you'll be using Blizzard, preferably with a damage modifier of some kind to maximize damage (Arcane Power, Icy Veins, trinket, etc.)

As Frostfire Mage, you'll always keep the Scorch debuff up and a Living Bomb ticking, and you'll immediately cast a Pyroblast when Hot Streak procs. Otherwise, you'll be spamming Frostfire Bolt. For AoE, you'll again keep Living Bomb ticking, then use a top-rank Flamestrike, Flamestrike (Rank 8), Blizzard rotation in order to take full advantage of the ground dot (which will stack with different ranks of Flamestrike).
Buffs & Consumables

Class composition is also important to raid DPS. Here are several buffs you should be aware of: Moonkin Aura, Totem of Wrath, Wrath of Air Totem, Heroism (or Bloodlust), Heroic Presence, Curse of Elements, Earth and Moon, Ebon Plaguebringer, Misery, Power Infusion, and the Troll racial: Berserking.

In a raid, you should generally have 2 consumables active: flask/elixir and food.

Flasks are relatively expensive, but persist through death: Flask of the Frost Wyrm. If you're strapped for cash, you can substitute a Battle Elixir: Spellpower Elixir, which is obviously not as good and you'll lose the buff if you die.

Food buffs from several tasty snacks will increase Spell Damage by 46 for 30 minutes.

Destruction Potions, Potions of Speed and Haste Potions are excellent for quick bursts, but often considered too expensive to use outside of a special attempt. Flame Caps also stack, but share a cooldown with Mana Gems. There are also a few other options.
Mana Management

The key to Arcane DPS is making sure you only run out of mana once — at the end of the fight. With the Arcane Flows talent, you can replenish almost your whole mana bar via Evocation every 2 minutes, but at a loss of up to 8 seconds of DPS time.

Use your Mana Gems as early and often as possible (don't wait until you're running low), and get your 2-piece Improved Manage Gems bonus as soon as possible. Supplement with a mana pot as necessary, but note that you can only use one.

Situationally, you might see a need to use Mage Armor instead of Molten Armor, but this should be avoided as you'd be missing out 5% Crit (with Glyph), which amounts to 229.55 Crit rating.

Being grouped with certain classes can also do a lot for mana management, like having a Survival Hunter, Retribution Paladin or Shadow Priest for Replenishment, a Frost Mage for Enduring Winter, or a Shaman for a Mana Spring Totem. Having a Paladin apply Judgement of Wisdom is also a big boost.

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