Author Topic: Fire vs. Ice vs. Arcane  (Read 2187 times)

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Fire vs. Ice vs. Arcane
« on: February 27, 2007, 12:02:51 PM »
Delving into the new mage stats and their significant differences for the new mage.

Arcane Specs: This spec gives a few excellent things to the pvper, but it isn't much for pve. First thing you get that is worthwhile is speccing enough to get a bonus 10% resist to all schools of magic. Your mana is increased significantly though these talents, though at the expense of causing more damage in fire or ice unless you cross-spec him. Threat reduction is a nice one. Instant spell cast (3min CD) and for each spell after for something like 5 seconds. Stronger mana shields and faster mana regen. Slow, well, is not much unless you pvp or need to run away from a mob. If you are looking for a decent mana pool, higher armor rating, spell resists, and threat reduction, this is for you.

Fire specs: Very high damage with 1v1 fights. More kills to get in before having to sit down and drink to replenish your mana. Increased distance for your fire spells. Chance on melee dmg taken to increase your movement speed by 50% (i think). Chance to stun your target on successful fire spell strike. Combustion adds 10% chance to critically strike with a fire spell and lasts until 3 fire crits have happened. Fire nova, AOE spell that causes decent damage and stuns the target for 6 seconds. Dragon damage causes minimal damage but confuses the target for 3 seconds. If you are looking for high burst damage, 1v1 fights, and are a pyromaniac, this is the spec to go with.

Ice specs: End game raids, at least the old end game stuff, pretty much required mages to be Ice due to all the fire mobs that had to be fought. This spec gives better crowd control by slowing most mobs down and you can kill multiple mobs at once. It is also great for gathering money due to the mass murder you can do with ice. The basic frost bolt does much less damage than a fire ball, but you can get more frost bolts off due to the slowing nature of ice. You also get a chance to freeze your target in place with your ice spells. Improved Frost Nova is a great talent to spec into as well as Improved Cone of Cold. Ice barrier is the best shield a mage can get through talents. Ice Block is a good way to dump aggro in group settings. You may want to look into placing talent points to reduce the cd of Ice Block and Cold Snap (immediately finishes cooldowns for all your frost spells). And the summoned Ice Elemental will save your life.

That is my basic take on the best strengths of each talent tree for the mage. There is a nice balance that you can have by cross-speccing arcane/fire or arcane/ice. You get a nice mana pool and nice damage with both trees. Fire/Ice is an ok cross-spec, but not something recommended. Lots of damage and crowd control, but at a lower mana pool and higher mana cost. You should think about adding to armor, stamina, intelligence and spell damage when gearing up and speccing. Spell crits are great and will happen, but it's not particularly a necessity with resilience in the game now. Also make sure you have a nice balance with spell hit chance as well.

I'm not an expert on the mage, but I have done many talent routes with Darkling to toss out my opinion of each tree. Feel free to add anything here.

Offline Tolwen

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Re: Fire vs. Ice vs. Arcane
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 01:05:10 PM »
thank you TB :), was looking for suck a topic but didn't find any.

I think I'm gonna stick with fire for now on.


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Re: Fire vs. Ice vs. Arcane
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 11:12:38 AM »
Since I was trolling the forums while the servers are down I just wanted to toss my 2 cents in the thread to give a different point of view. Been playing the mage class since a couple months after initial release so I think I have a pretty good understanding about the unique specs you can come up with. Not to mention the mage forums need more people posting!! Also, I want to make a correction to what the OP said about Ice Block. It does nothing whatsoever to reduce your amount of threat against a target, that's what Invisibility is for. When you Ice Block you're stopping DPS, giving the tanks enough time to get the 30% over your threat to regain aggro. However, if you double tap Ice Block expect the mob to go right back on you.

When determining which builds you'd like as a mage there are a few things you really need to consider. 1) How much damage will I be doing? 2) If I have to take damage, am I going to get killed instantly? 3) How much threat will I be generating? 4) Will I end up going OOM 3/4 the way through the fight?

The first two questions are basic questions every mage will need to determine for the build. As a mage, your spec is going to determine a lot on how much damage you do, how much threat you generate, how well you can maintain constant DPS for extended fights and primarily if you live or die during the fight if you have to take damage.

Non-Hybrid Builds:

Arcane: Good constant DPS, high mana pool, high mana regen, low survivability, very low threat generation, no burst damage. Arcane Missles is the primary damage spell for this spec, and the mana pool will need to be high to maintain DPS throught the fight. Focus for gear should be on spell damage primarily even having to sacrifice hit and crit rating. Since each missile will have a chance to be resisted, you won't be dropping DPS significantly if one or two of them gets resisted. Your primary armor type while in dungeons/raids will need to be mage armor to maintain your mana pool. Also, since missiles are a channeled spell, you're not generating as much threat (even without the talents to reduce it further) as you would be with a direct damage spell like fireball or frostbolt. A significant drawback to this build would be your only good damage spell is an 8 second channeled spell, any type of interruption will bring your dps output to a screeching halt.

Fire: High damage, normal mana pool, low mana regen, very low survivability, high threat generation, high burst damage. For this build, fireball should be your primary damage spell. Typically fire mages will get the scorch debuff fully stacked prior to casting fireballs to ensure the most damage they get for the mana cost. Your focus on gear will need to have a high amount of crit, preferrably over 20% when self buffed. Having to sacrifice your total spell damage to get your crit rating high enough is more than acceptable for this build since the majority of your damage will be coming from the ignite dot applied to the target. Since the ignite dot can stack again the sky is the limit how much damage it can do every 2 seconds. Getting the dot ticking for over 3000 per 2 seconds is not unheard of. Bad part about being full fire is if anything attacks you that you can't kill before it reaches you, typically you're dead.

Frost: Medium damage, normal mana pool, low mana regen, extremely high survivability, medium threat generation, high burst damage (against frozen targets only). One of the best leveling builds you will come across in the game. The full frost mage has the ability to survive just about any encounter you can think of. You're going to want to focus on a lot of hit rating for this build, if you get resisted your dps will drop significantly. You're also going to have the water elemental, this pet is your primary means of keeping your damage high. Since it's on a 3 minute cooldown and only last 45 seconds you will need to use it as often as the cooldown is available to maintain a decent amount of dps. If you need to sustain heavy dps you can use cold snap to reset the cooldown and summon it immediately again. Also, your spell damage does have a slight increase on the amount of spell damage done by your pet.

Hybrid Builds: I'm only going to cover the most widely used hybrid builds since you can get pretty crazy with these.

Arcane/Frost (40/0/21): Medium to high damage, high mana pool, high mana regen, medium threat generation, medium survivability. This tends to be the most widely used raiding build due to the ability to get higher amounts of damage out from frost while still mantaining some of your survivability. This build is also going to have the best use of mana for damage you will possibly ever see in the game. Frost mages are heavily mana efficient as it is, and include on that increasing your mana regen rate significantly while in combat most often you will almost never go OOM with this build. If you are running out of mana, switch to mage armor and keep on truckin'. You'll want to have around 20% chance to crit with this build, and focus more on spell damage and hit rating same as full frost. Your cooldowns with this build are where you make your money at. Use them as often as you can, however make sure if you're get a big crit streak going back off on your damage slightly... you can switch to arcane missles to give the tank time to get back up on the threat meter without sacrificing your damage. Most often you'll be right behind the tanks on the threat meter, too much burst damage will put you over them.

Arcane/Fire (40/18/3): High damage, high mana pool, high mana regen, high threat generation, low survivability. Another one of the more widely used hybrid builds mages have. Similar to the arcane/frost build except you'll be sacrificing survivability for more damage. For information about this build, read the arcane/frost section, the builds will function almost identical.

Fire/Arcane (21/40/0): High to very high damage, normal to high mana pool, high mana regen, high threat generation, extremely low survivability. This is my personal favorite raiding build for a fire mage. Your damage can get extremely high, and you will need to watch your threat generation constantly. Gear will primarily be focused on spell damage with crit rating being your secondary priority. Fireball is going to be your primary damage spell, and like the fire build you will need to make sure you fully stack the scorch debuff on prior to casting. Typically, you will not need mage armor on for this build since you will have the arcane talents to regen your mana and master of elements returning mana from your critical strikes. I cannot stress how important watching your threat is with this build, it is extremely easy to rip the target off the tanks if you're not careful. This is also a terrible PvP build, and if you do enjoy PvPing I would not recommend it. A 61 shadow priest didn't have much trouble killing my very well geared level 70 mage.

Elemental (0/40/21): This would be my personal favorite (and my current build). High damage, normal mana pool, low mana regen, high to very high threat generation, medium to high survivability, extreme amounts of burst damage. For most elemental builds you're going to want to choose fire as your primary damage tree while using the frost tree to enhance your survivability. For raiding scenarios you will want to keep mage armor on as often as possible for boss encounters since the mana regen is almost nonexistant. Since your mana regen is so small you will want to make sure you take the Master of Elements talent, with your crit rating high enough you won't need much mana regen to sustain yourself. If the fight isn't very long, molten armor will usually suffice increasing the amount of damage you will be doing. For this specific build, you're going to want to stack yourself on crit as much as humanly possible without sacrificing too much on your spell damage. With the elemental build, you'll be taking shatter in the frost tree and at 30% chance to crit normally you'll have an 80% chance to crit frozen targets. No one in the game will be able to match your critical strike rating, and since your burst damage is so high, you can easily reach 2000+ DPS on a single target in a matter of seconds. My personal record was 3400 DPS against a warrior in approximately 5 seconds. Naturally he died, and frost nova never broke. For raiding is concerned, the more you crit, the more mana you're going to get returned to you by the Master of Elements talent.

Hopefully this post will give people looking to respec their mages some insight on what gear and spec they may want to look for. <3 mages :)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2007, 12:50:47 PM by Zeddy »


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Re: Fire vs. Ice vs. Arcane
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 01:01:33 PM »
I'll be hitting teh pee vee pee here soon and I'm not sure how I want to work it just yet. I can either two shot someone with instant pyro. Or I can look at it survivability. My respec cost will probably go through the roof. But I'll figure it out. Also wow wiki has some nice choices of specs for mages also.

Offline un4

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Re: Fire vs. Ice vs. Arcane
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2007, 04:59:45 PM »
Very interesting, Zed - thanks.

Currently Fire/arcane on my level 25 ;)


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Re: Fire vs. Ice vs. Arcane
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 08:36:07 PM »
Here's a nice Evocation macro:

#showtooltip Evocation
/castsequence [button:1] reset=10 Combustion Dagger of Spirit, Mistyreed Torch of Spirit, Evocation
/stopmacro [button:1]
/script PickupInventoryItem(17)
/script PutItemInBag(22)
/Equip Battle Mage's Baton

triple click it to equip any spirit weapons you have and then Evocation, then right click it to change back to your main weapon.