So as you may have noticed by now, patch 2.3.2 went live.
Let’s go over the good stuff, shall we?
First off, there has been some major changes in the frost tree. Major, as in, 3 talents have been seriously moved around.
1) Trainable Ice Block.
Anyone who’s spent some time reading this blog knows my thoughts about Ice Block. Bluntly, it is an incredibly useful skill that can be used to incredibly good effect in both PvE and PvP. In arenas, it is a necessary talent that literally any mage will need to be widely successful. Without it, the mage is at a very serious disadvantage survivability wise. Versus warlocks, for example, you gonna eat thems DoTs without an Ice Block. Ice Block is a cooldown that allows you to survive other people cooldowns. Spot a PoM Pyro headed your way? Ice Block. Spot a giant red raptor coming your way? Ice Block. And so forth.
PvE wise, it can be a major life-saver in an incredibly high amount of PvE encounters. Magtheridon? When the entire raid takes 6k damage at 30%? Ice Block. No damage for you!
Hydross got yeh Watery Tombed? Ice Block. No damage for you, or anyone standing near you.
Have three Cave’ins dropped on you at the same time in Gruul’s? Ice Block. It’ll save you for a bit.
Pull aggro on Illidan? Haha, you’re fucked. No, seriously, Ice Block it onto the ungrateful warlock next to you. That’ll show that snooty demon master a thing or two about Soul Link.
In conclusion, a very welcome addition, one that mages have and are going to continue rejoicing about for days to come. And to the following classes: Warriors, Rogues, Hunters, Warlocks, and Priests, the QQ was delicious, let’s do it again some time. Maybe over lunch? I’ll bring biscuits.
Cold Snap has moved to Ice Block’s old position. Ok, cool, seems fine to me. Because….
ICY VEINS!! This new spell is bitching. Reeeeeal bitching. Need I go into detail? Well, too bad, ’cause Girl Meets WoW did it for me.
However, I would like to touch on this fact…
If you’re raiding fire, you now essentially have two choices here. 10/47/3 (+1), the old spec; 2/47/11 (+1), the new spec.
Basically, you keep all the same fire raid talents, and just mix up where the other points are going. Frost? Or Arcane? Minimum of 11 points frost for Icy Veins, or 10 points Arcane. Do with the last point as you wish. Don’t matter too much.
I heartily recommend everyone keeps putting the 2 points into Arcane Subtlety, by simple fact of the 40% arcane threat reduction. Will help with AoE fights, if they’re called for.
The frost tree is practically garbage raid fire wise, you’re only really there for 4 talent points. 3 in Elemental Precision, and 1 in Icy Veins. The rest, we could really care less. I put 2 in imp. Frostbolt, because the other option sucks so hard it makes Bill Clinto raise his eyebrows.
Tier 2, 2 points went into Improved Frost Nova, and the other 3 into the 15% chance to root. Imp. As I do a lot of random PvP in my spare time, stuff like rank 1 frostbolt does get used frequently, so the 15% root there is noice to have. 1 second snare, or a 1.3 second snare that has a 15% chance to root? I went with the latter.
Now, as to Icy Veins itself. To put it bluntly, you DO NOT want to spec to get this right as you start you’re raiding career. Why? Because you’re mana pool won’t survive.
Putting 10 points into Arcane nabs you Clearcast, which essentially gives you a 10% mana efficiency boost. Icy Veins gives you a DPS boost, but at the cost that you are, essentially, using 20% more mana for those 20 seconds. If you’re mana pool is a little on the low side, Icy Veins will see you going OOM disturbingly often.
Stick with Clearcast until you have at least 8500 mana with Arcane Intellect up. Shouldn’t be hard, but there ya go. Once you have about that much mana, snag Icy Veins, have a sexy 3 minute cooldown, and make sure you’re using your brand new mana gems often =D
Speaking of those brand new mana gems, they are some might fine stuff.
See, the top level gems now come with “charges”. A single mana gem can be used 3 times, meaning that over longer fights, you don’t have to downrank your gems, simply use the same best one over and over again.
Oh! And the amount of mana it restores has been buffed, too, so it restores the same amount of mana as Super Mana Pots.
The mage community has been complaining about mana efficiency for quite some time. To put it bluntly, we run through mana much faster than any other mana-based class, with the notable exception of Shadow Priests. Each mana using class has a way to restore mana, and up until these last couple of patches, the mages was the worst. We had an 8 minute cooldown spell that restored ~30% of our mana, and some rather crappy mana gems that could hardly rival the old school 60 raids style mana potions.
This has largely been fixed, thankfully. Evocation has been buffed right the hell out (shut yer trap, leveling mages, suck it up. What the 70′s want, they get).
With the mana gem “fix”, our mana pools are far more padded out then they were a short time ago.
And we have the druids to thank for it, I’m sure. Those crazy peeps have an unnerving ability to come to a forum, take all the gripes and QQ of an entire class forum, and condense it into a short, well-worded, intellectual, and excellently formatted post.
WTF, druids? WHAT THE FOOF?
Oh, and that means the PTRs are down…
Le sigh. Arenas then!
I was on a 2v2 for a while, paired with a BM hunter (Tauren, therefore “pre-made”). He was pretty good, we played 28 games, won 25 of them. To be fair, at least half of those involved a ret pally, so no surprise there. The 3 we lost were all the exact same team. Rogue and Warlock. Never encountered that kind of arena team before. Oh, well, we kept getting owned by those guys. Made me a sad panda.
Also went onto a 3v3 team with an Arms warrior and a Disc Priest. Very odd makeup, don’t you think? Priest/Warrior/Mage… well, it was odd. Ended up with 1698 rating there, so no love lost, I guess. The Warrior was insane… only spoke Spanish. Made for some very interesting times.
Let me take the time to say this… Whoever that priest was, I love you. All of our wins were because of you, and your incredible skill. I am honored to have PvP’d with you. AoE fear bombs at precisely the right moments, heals that seemed to land the exact moment they were needed most… it felt like you were omnipresent.
Ehh, might do some more arena posting later. I might have to, considering that this might be the last arenas I do for a while. I have purchased the Orange Box, you see, and TF2 has consumed my mind.