Arena season 2 doth draw to an end, heralding the start of a new season of bloodshed and gnashing of teeth.
Less than a quarter moon’s cycle from now, a new season of slaughter will begin.
And lo, in this season of killing, a voice descended from the heavens, and did announce in a blue voice:
“I am Eyonix, your Lord and Master. I speaketh thus!
There are a few nice improvements we’re making to the mage class in patch 2.3.2 (a small patch that will be on the public test realms soon) and we wanted to share them with you. First, we’ll start out with two changes affecting all mages. Ice block will become a core ability, trainable by all mages at level 30. Additionally, conjure mana (rank 6) will restore 1800-3000 mana and will now have three charges, meaning you can use it three times before having to create a new one.
To be sure we’re clear here, yes, the same cooldown will still apply between usages.
Cold snap will be moved to Ice block’s position in the talent tree and its cooldown will be reduced. As a side note, it will no longer reset the cooldown on fire ward. Moving in to Cold snap’s spot will be a brand new ability called Icy Veins. This new ability will decrease casting time for all spells by 20% and increases the chance that chilling effects freeze the target by 25%. It’s an active ability, lasting 20 seconds and has a 3 minute cooldown.”
Ok, first off, I would like to say the following.
TRAINABLE ICE BLOCK BITCHEZ!!
So. Let’s have a look at how this all plays out.
First off, the change to mana gems is very, very nice. Blizzard apparently does listen to the community, and the mages issues with mana seems to have been heard rather nicely. They already fixed evocate, a joyous change that was only dreaded by those mages that stacked spirit (/mock).
And now they’re fixing mana gems. Making them restore a far heftier chunk of mana, and giving it multiple charges.
Oh, God, multiple charges. That is a very sexy mana gem now. Now if only I could trade them to the healers in the raid group, I’d leap for joy. As it is I can only bounce up and down happily.
Ok, now to the meat.
20% reduction in cast speed, and 25% increased chance for freezing. Will this be QQ’d about by other classes? Hellz yes it will. Will mages rejoice? Hellz yes we will.
Let’s look at it practically.
Let’s say you cast Frostbolt. It has a 2.5 second cast time, and a 15% chance to freeze the target it hits.
Activate Ice Veins, and that frostbolt now has a 2 second cast time, and a 40% chance to freeze. Therefore, in a 20 second window, you can cast 10 frostbolts, rather than 8.
And of those ten, roughly half of them will freeze your target to the ground.
And every time that happens, you can unload with a Frostbolt/Ice Lance shatter combo.
If Blizzard renamed this ability from “Icy Veins” to “God Mode”, I wouldn’t be surprised.
This ability, used right, is incredibly powerful.
Look at it this way:
This ability makes you do more damage. As well, any damage you do has a high chance of letting you do even more damage. And every time you do even more damage, you have a high chance of being able to do more damage. And so on, and so forth.
I’ll give you a paper doll example.
Let’s assume frostbolt hits for 1500, crits for 3000. Ice Lance hits for 1000, and crits for 2000.
Say you see some random mob. You activate Icy Veins and fire off a frostbolt. It hits the mob for 1500, no root. 2 seconds have gone by.
So you cast frostbolt again. This time it roots. (1500 + 1500 = 3000 damage so far) 4 seconds have gone by.
You cast frostbolt again, and add Ice Lance at the end to get a shatter. They both crit, for a total of 5000 damage, putting your total damage dealt at 8000. 7.5 seconds have gone by.
You cast frostbolt again, it hits for 1500 (Total damage is now at 9500). 9.5 seconds have gone by. Freeze procs again.
Another Shatter combo. Frostbolt doesn’t crit, Ice Lance does, but frostbolt procs Freeze again.
Now, at this point, only 13 seconds have gone by. You have dealt 13000 damage (thus putting your dps at 1000), and your target is rooted, ready to be struck with another Shatter combo.
So you see the power this will have?
It won’t be quite this good in PvP, as you have to take into consideration that your opponent will try to ruin your fun. As well, you have to factor in diminishing returns into the whole root equation.
Realistically, after the first freeze, the second and third ones will only let you have time to get off a single Ice Lance. And the fourth will be immune… until 15 seconds from the first has gone by.
Since the ability lasts 20 seconds, you will be able to get a full on Shatter combo in at the end, and at the beginning. And a couple Ice Lance thingies in the middle.
Now, toss in Water Elemental anf Frost Nova into here, And you could easily be looking at keeping your target perma-rooted for almost 20 seconds.
(Permafrost, W/E’s Freeze, and Frost Nova all have diminishing returns, but they are all on different timers at this time.)
When this hits the PTRs, I will be spending a LOT of time there.
Hell, I’ll probably spend the cash to do this on live servers too. ‘Cause it is, quite simply, that good.
And if you’re a mage trying to do Arenas without speccing frost… after Icy Veins gets introduced, you have no choice. You must be frost… you just have to. No if’s or but’s, your speccing frost if you expect to get anywhere.
And to the rest of you… I hope your Paladin’s Blessing of Freedom isn’t on cooldown.