Archive for November 8th, 2007

Mage Tanking

Todays post is an exciting one. Patch 2.3 is bringing many, many goodies to pretty much every class to the game. Blizzard is working very hard to get this game as balanced as possible.
The roles for every class is being expanded.
For example, paladins, once solely relegated to tanking and healing, are able to now fill the role of DPS in raiding content.
Shamans, too, are seeing buffs to their casting trees, allowing them to serve is utility mages and utility rogues.
Now, every class in the game is able to fulfill multiple roles in a raid.
As of 2.3, the mages horizons will be expanding beyond the classical DPS role.

It is with great pleasure that I bring you the reworked Arcane tree.
Since WoW came out, the Arcane tree has widely been considered the worst tree mages have avaliable. So many talents considered useless in so many ways.
Well, cheer up mages! Blizzard has heard your pleas!

Everyone give a round of applause to the new Tanking tree for mages!

The following changes have been made to the Arcane tree:

Arcane Subtlety has been renamed to Arcane Blatantly. Instead of reducing the threat caused by Arcane spells by 40%, it increases the threat generated by 40%.

Wand Spec has been outright scrapped, in favor of a new 2 point talent. Now, it increases the Stamina of the mage by 25%, and is renamed Arcane Stamina. Arguably the BEST tanking talent ever.

Magic Absorption keeps the same name, but instead of increasing spell resistances by 10, it increases the mage’s armor value by double the mage’s + spell damage value.

Magic Attunement stays the same, but now also increases the effect of “Mana Shield” by 50%. Mana Shield has been completely reworked, in Patch 2.3. Rather than absorbing damage and taking it from the mana pool, it now summons a Shield in front of the caster, fully absorbing damage equal to the Mage’s total mana value. However, it now comes with a 10 second cooldown.

Arcane Fortitude now increases the mage’s armor amount by 200% of the mages intellect.

Improved Mana Shield now reduces the cooldown of Mana Shield by 1 second per rank.

Arcane Mind has been renamed Arcane Constitution. It now increases both the mages Intellect and Armor values by 3% per rank.

Prismatic Cloak decreases all damage taken by 5% per rank, buffed from 2%.

Empowered Arcane Missiles no longer increases the mana cost of Arcane Missiles. Rather, it increases the threat generated by Arcane Missiles by 5/10/15%.

Mind Mastery, in addition to its usual effect, also decreases the cost of all arcane spells by the same amount.

Slow has been changed to a AoE effect, affecting all targets in a 15 yard basis. It also causes a very large amount of threat.

So there you have it! Arcane has been significantly buffed, allowing mages to be able to tank and still deal significant damage.

Now, as to how to tank.

First off, you won’t have to struggle to find defensive gear. Blizzard has been kind enough to re-itemize all the Tier gear to support mage-tanking, with significant values for Intellect, Stamina and armor. Unlike most tanks, mages do not have to worry about stats like Parry and Dodge. We only have to worry about armor mitigation and our mana pool.
Because Mana Shield absorbs damage based entirely on how big your mana pool is, you want to have as much mana as possible. Also, as your armor increases based on intellect, a bigger mana pool means you have more armor.
So, the only real stats a mage tank needs to worry about is Stamina, and loads and loads of Intellect. As a mage tank, you should be whoring as much Intellect as possible. But hey, the re-itemization will help that significantly.
Take, for example, the new Tier 4 Chest Piece, “Aldor Constitution”

Constitution Robe of the Aldor
404 Armor
+40 Stamina
+66 Intellect
3 Blue Sockets
Socket Bonus: + 5 Stamina
Increases damage done by magical effects by 24.


Always run with Ice Armor up. You will love the increased armor value, and the slowing effects from it will let you get control over any mob that some other douchebag in the party pulls very rapidly.

Arcane Missiles are your best friend. They do a lot of threat, and a lot of damage, which means more threat. Relative to its threat, it’s a very cheap spell to cast, and is uninterruptible. The perfect tanking spell.

Spam Mana Shield whenever the cooldown is up. It will make your healers job that much easier, and makes up for the lack of block, dodge, and parry skills that mages lack.

Threat generation is not an issue for a Mage tank. You have tons of threat generation already, and it is nearly effortless to pull aggro away from another idiotic member if your party.

I hope this has helped you out, and given you a few tips on how to tank as a mage.
Rumor has it, that Arcane Blast is being reworked into an Instant cast that forces the mob to target the mage for 8 seconds. We can only wait and see if this happens in 2.4! Or, maybe, it might sneak into 2.3 if we’re lucky.


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