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Arcanist's Tower (Mage Discussion)
Lots of other classes have a discussion forum here, so I thought it was time for the mages. I have a 60 mage alt named Neat.

I am thinking of repsec'ing him. RIght now, he has a elementalist PvP build. My question is does anybody have any experience or opinions on raiding elementalist or arcane heavy builds. I like to be unique.

Also, how is fire damage in MC? Is frost necessary there?

Lastly, who has Improved Scorch or Winter's Chil?

-Neat (aka Jaba)
Elementalist is a pretty strong build, whether you're PvPing or raiding, with PvPing leaning more on the Fire side, and raiding leaning more toward Frost. The distinction is mostly between how much damage you can throw out (Fire) and how mana effecient your spells are (Frost.) When going Elementalist, no matter which element you decide to go with, having Ignite and Shatter are two mainstays, since they play off each other like a perfectly tuned symphony. Running into a mass of mobs or players in PvP, freezing them all with Frost Nova and tossing out a Flamestrike, Cone of Cold or, even better, a Blastwave is just all too much fun.

For the majority of our time in MC after 1.12 came out and made Elementalist viable, I used a 15/36 Fire/Frost build that centered on using Frost primarily, and making them as effecient as possible by reducing their chance to resist with Elemental Precision, increasing my overall damage with Ice Shards and Piercing Ice and making them mana cheap and low threat as possible with Frost Channeling. The Fire talents were mostly centered around using Fire Blast for quick, Ignite filled damage, and Fireballs or Fire Blasts in conjunction with Shatter. Makes for a very deadly combo.

With this build I was able to keep a top 10 position or higher in MC, and against Ragnaros I generally had enough mana between Evocation and mana gems to keep going, though it did sometimes get tough. So to answer your question about damage in MC, if you want to be a heavy-hitting mage, I would highly suggest Frost. There are mobs in MC are either outright immune to Fire spells, and/or resist Ignite procs, which is a lot of the meat of a Fire mage's overall DPS. Frost, with Ice Shards and Piercing Ice does all of it's damage up front, and can be used against <i>all</i> mobs in MC. I would highly, highly, highly reccomend it, but it isn't necessary since you can still do Fire damage against most of the mobs in the instances.

Since 1.12, I haven't any experience with Arcane heavy builds, but recently I've switched to a 10/0/41 Arcane / Frost build designed to minimize resistances, and mostly to maximize mana retention with Arcane Concentration, while still investing heavily in Frost. Imp. Cone of Cold with Shatter is, well, quite yummy. You'll also notice that with this build and my prior Elementalist build, I've kept Winter's Chill. As a raiding frost mage, it's pretty hardcore, and it helps to contribute to a LOT of crits against bosses (especially Ragnaros.) Frostshock spamming shaman like it too, since the increased crit chance also applies to them.

Other than that, my Arcane experience is limited only to what it was like pre-1.12. Arcane Mind has always been a great talent, since it can boost your mana pool by anywhere between 600 and 700 mana. Presence of Mind, Arcane Instability and Arcane Power have always been mainstays for mages, as well as Imp. Counterspell. For PvP or PvE, Arcane is a great supplement for either Fire or Frost, though you'd be losing out on several amazing abilities in the Elemental builds for the added spell utility from Arcane. Entirely a choice of gameplay.

As for Imp. Scorch, I've never had it myself, but I've been in a raid with a mage who did have it, and would stack it up every chance she got. I personally see the 7.5 seconds via 5 casts it would take as a drawback to overall DPS, and would be dangerous to commit that much time in PvP, but once it's stacked, you can expect Fireballs (with around 150 or so +damage gear) to reach around 1000 non-crit damage. I'm personally not comfortable enough to use it properly, but it does belt out the hurt when it's fully stacked.

So there's my overly opinionated essay. Hope it helps some. ^_^
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There is a common misconception that frost can be as high of damage as fire. Unfortunatly, this is really not true, unless you have way more spell damage than a fire mage. The reasons leading up to this, are simply BWL, and MC. Outside of that, Fire beats all. Rolling ignites, scorch debuff, etc can stack up to very very high damage. Just as a base example, in about 350 spell damage, against Kurinass, 1200-1300 damage non crits are not just common, they are the norm.

What frost does have, that fire doesn't, is survivability. I can crit for 40 billion damage, but I have no way of dumping that aggro, or at least surviving the incoming mass of death aggro I just stole.

Basically I do an elementalist build, so that I can balance each of it, I have high fire damage, and high frost damage, but I can't do as much damage as a full fire mage, nor have as high of a survivability rate as a frost mage, but since I have ice block, I can survive it, when I pull aggro, likewise, on things that are not fire resistant I can do a ton of damage.

It all comes down to your play style. If you like to cause insane damage, go full fire, and arcane. If you want to survive for longer than 30 seconds, go frost. If you want to do crazy damage, and survive longer than 15 seconds , then do an elementalist build. As is, I would not recommend doing a full arcane, but after BC, I'm sure most mages would agree that all three specs are very good as a primary spec. As another note, frost is probably the most mana efficient of all the builds.

If you are raiding MC, or BWL, do frost, if you are doing anything else, fire is the way to go. For my recorded damage, as a fire/frost mage, I usually see the following

Frostbolt- 850-1000 non crit, 1800-2000 crit
Fireball 950-1100 non crit, 1600-1800 crit, + 40% ignite

These are against creatures that are just curse of elements debuffed. Add about 15% more damage to the fire stuff, if I can get scorch debuff up, which is also a great spell for stacking ignites. 2-3 crits in a row are not uncommon. And with new talents such as playing with fire, empowered fireball, and molten fury, fire damage is gonna skyrocket. The same holds true for frost.

It seems that fire spells damage things, with just sheer damage output. Frost deals alot more on critting a ton. This is especially evident with the new BC talents, where empowered fireball is just damage, and empowered frostbolt is damage, and a crit, and where the frost elemental pet is also casting chains of ice (spell that can trigger shatter), and its own frost spells.

This is coming from my experiance, as playing a mage since release, and speccing every single spec imaginable. The most enjoyable for myself, by far, was full fire, and partial arcane, which I intend to have for BC. To say that one spec is better than another is not really right, as stated before, fire is damage, frost is surviability, and arcane is shaping up to be alot of utility.
A question for you, since I plan to roll a mage in the BC.

It seems like frost mages also have access to a wide variety of crowd control abilities, which I don't see as much in the fire tree. It seems like there's a lot of solo and small-group PvE things that a frost mage can do very well. Would you put that in the frost mage's advantages as well?
Oryx - Jadox - Koryx - Atorax - Cabochon - Hargrim - Morwen - Stillweaver - Talindrys
I think that is a fair assessment, though who knows how they will extend to BC.

I leveled Neat 1-60 as a Frost AoE mage. It took some getting used to, but with that particular combination of talents, he was pretty good at controlling and killing large groups of Mobs.

-Neat (aka Jaba)
Its true that a frost mage has more control, and it is an advantage, but a more basic way of saying it, is frost feels very in control, and fire is just sheer raw damage.

With frost, you snare it, and root it, as you attack it. With fire, you just blow it away. Different playstyles lead to different specs, and I'm not saying fire is better than frost (I did full frost for several months), I just like the damage output I have with fire.
Rajana's currently 48 Frost and 2 Arcane herself.. Though heavily considering a Shatter/Fire build.. Cant decide though, so many talents!
Edit: This build looks nice.. But.. I want more frost!
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What is the best thing in life?
Crush enemy, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women.
I'm thinking of doing something like this for Taika (based on fireball/blast waving frozen targets), though it can probably use a bit of tweaking:

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"You can never run from trouble, 'cause there ain't no place that far." - Scissor Sisters, "Lights"
What exactly are mages' thoughts on a fire/shatter build? Seems like double the normal spells you'd use to be effective. Frost bolt, etc until you get a chill and then fire shatter off of it?
Efluvia Wrote:What exactly are mages' thoughts on a fire/shatter build? Seems like double the normal spells you'd use to be effective. Frost bolt, etc until you get a chill and then fire shatter off of it?

That's what I was shooting for with the above build, but if more experienced mages have input on it...
"You can never run from trouble, 'cause there ain't no place that far." - Scissor Sisters, "Lights"
That's kind of the major problem with an elementalist build, and part of the fun and exciting challenge of doing it: deciding what spell to use when. For a Fire/Shatter build, you probabaly won't be using Frostbolt or Cone of Cold all that much aside from an opener or to get in a snare so you can get range again. Check out this Fire/Shatter build and see what you think.

One nifty thing that you can do with that build is make awesome friends with Rank 1 Frostbolt. Has the same 40% (47% with 2/3 Permafrost) snare, still gives you the 15% chance to freeze with Frostbite and with Imp. Frostbolt it only takes 1 second to cast. Spam that, freeze your targets, hit them with a Fireball+Fire Blast combo, and run. Tee hee! :lol:

(And yes, I'm <i>in love</i> with Elemental Precision. I know it can be considered a superfulous talent to get, but honestly and truely, a 6% reduction in spell resistances is godly awesome. Couple that with the Friendly level WSG trinket that reduces resists by 20, any +spell hit% gear and CoE if you have a pocket warlock, and you'll literally never ever get a resist.)
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I used to have that, but had to drop it for the range upgrade in the forst tree. The difference is very noticeable

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