Today I’m going to be talking about something that is most definitely not the norm.
Y’see, Shamans aren’t the only class in the game that can spec Elemental. We mages can do the same. With strong talents in both the fire tree and the frost tree, a mage can seamlessly mesh flaming death and frozen fury into a deadly tapestry that I like to call “freezer burn”.
Imagine combining Cold Snap, with all it’s frosty goodness, 10% chance for fire to stun, and thanks to Molten Shields (that is what it’s called, right?) next patch, on any and every attack, including ranged attacks and spells, 1 second snare from Frostbolt, very high burst potential from both the frost and fire trees (imagine Fireball/Ice Lance shatter combo), Blazing Speed, Ice Barrier, and Blastwave (undispellable daze ftw) all combined in one insane little bugger of a mage.
Sound fun? Of course it is. You know why it’s fun? Because it is.
(DISCLAIMER: Do not bring this spec into a PvE situation. This spec is also very dependent on it’s user as to how well it performs in PvP. You have to be able to switch between fire abilities and frost abilities rapidly, and perfect the timing of your cooldowns. It is also highly recommended that you do not use this ability in small scale PvP, such as 2v2 arenas. It is best suited to larger scale PvP fights, such as battlegrounds and 5v5. This spec also meshes ridiculously well with warlocks, hunters, other mages, and rogues)
First, let’s go over the talents to this amazingly awesome build of sheer awesome.
Starting with the fire tree.
Impact – kinda self explanatory. 10% chance on any fire spell for a 2 second stun. This includes stuff like when a rogue shivs you and gets a wee bit of damage from Molten Armor. An excellent PvP talent, and honestly, you can pair this talent by itself with pretty much any PvP build, even heavy frost ones. Stuns are equivalent to enlightenment in PvP. That’s why things like Mace Spec and Roflherald are so popular for PvP.
Ignite – with an elementalist build, you are not going to be using Frostbolt for your shatter combos. At least, you want to try your best not to. There will definitely be some situations where you will not be able to spend the time needed by a 3.5 second fireball, only a 2.5 second Frostbolt. But whenever you can, you want to use fireball. It hits a lot harder than frostbolt does, adds a DoT so Rogues can’t Vanish properly, and it will have an extremely high critical strike chance when coupled with Shatter. Playing at 70, even if you’re opponents are coated in resilience, you’re fire spells are going to be critting a lot. As any raiding fire mage can tell you, Ignite is a massive source of damage. For an elementalist mage, it means a Fireball/Ice Lance combo on a frozen target will have your opponent fearing for his life.
Flame Throwing – more range is more awesome. This should be self explanatory. The farther away you are from the guy you’re killing, the longer your life span will be. Mages are a ranged class, remember?
Improved Fire Blast – 6.5 second cooldown on Fireblast? Yes’m!
Incinerate – 4% increased critical strike chance on Fireblast and Scorch. Considering you’ll be using those two fire abilities a lot in PvP, due to the speed in which you can get them off, this is a no brainer.
Pyroblast – needed for Blastwave.
Burning Soul – obvious, isn’t it? You need the spell pushback resistance. Especially against classes with pets. Or classes that can close to melee really fast. Or classes that can use ranged abilities. You see what I’m saying?
(improved fire ward) Molten Shields – Right now, this talent is barely meh. But in patch 2.4, it’s going to get a little innocent buff, that means all the world to this build. Basically, it’s going to allow the Molten Armor damage proc on every attack, whether it be melee, ranged or a spell. No one will be safe! And more importantly, that 10% Impact stun thing… yeah. Draw your own conclusions.
Critical Mass – 6% increased fire crit. Need I say more?
Blastwave – for starters, another instant spell in your arsenal, and one that can affect multiple people for a respectable amount of damage. But that’s not all. The daze affect from Blastwave is NOT DISPELLABLE. If someone is hit by this spell, they are snared. Period. Only an Ice Block, Paladin bubble, or Beast Within can get rid of this (yes, priests, Mass Dispel does not work on this ability. Which is odd, considering that Mass Dispel can get rid of Ice Block and Paladin bubbles, but can’t get rid of a little “Oh gawd I got hit in the face with fire”). Guaranteed snare.
Blazing Speed – 10% chance on a physical damage attack that you’ll dispel movement imparing effects and get a 50% increase to your movement. It’s hard to explain the awesome of this talent. It has an uncanny ability to proc right when you need it (Uh oh. There’s a hunter there! Blink is on cooldown… well cra- BLAZING SPEED! Ha ha!) (Improved Hamstring, oh, god, this warrior’s gonna rape- HAHAHAHA!).
Fire Power – all of your hardest hitting spells (with the exception of Ice Lance) will be fire spells. Scorch, Fireball, and Fireblast will be staples of your DPS diet. Make ’em worth it.
Moving on to the Frost tree.
Improved Frostbolt – when you need a snare, you need it now. The obvious use to this talent is that your max rank frostbolts will only take 2.5 seconds to cast, so if you need a snare, but can afford to take the time to get a full damage spell off, full rank frostbolt is the way to go. You won’t be using full rank too often, as your fire spells will be capable of dealing more damage. The true power of this talent is in rank 1 frostbolt. With this talent, it has a 1 second cast time, with all the kickass snaring and kiting that brings with it.
Ice Shards – critical strike damage bonus of frost spells increased by 100%. Utterly necessary for this build, to get the heavy spike damage from Ice Lance.
Frostbite – 15% for chill effects to root the target. The usefulness of this talent fluctuates depending on how heavily you use either the fire tree or frost tree. Heavier frost means this gets more useful, heavier fire, less. I still deem it necessary for an Elementalist, the chance for an extra root when you use frostbolt can open up room for some extremely lethal damage.
Improved Frost Nova – faster cooldown, more Shatters. Also keeping in mind you need this talent for shatter… a must have.
Piercing Ice – I only put one point in here, because I needed a place to put a point (remember we need to get Ice Barrier down the line) and this talent is an excellent option. It will make those Ice Lance shatters a wee bit more painful. Heh. There is nothing wrong with putting this point in into Permafrost or Improved Blizzard if you need those talents more for the extra snares. There is very little room in an elemental build to swap around talents, this here point is part of that “very little”.
Icy Veins – for those who don’t know, spell haste is extremely tasty for PvP. Really, really tasty. The fact that Icy Veins is getting a buff (kinda?) next patch to provide 100% resistance to spell pushback, rather than improved chance to root, makes it an extremely deadly buff for PvP. Uninterrupted polymorphs, frostbolts, fireballs, what have you. I mean, the 20% haste thing was already awesome enough.
Arctic Reach – this is another spot where you have a wee bit of leeway. You don’t necessarily need the extra range on your frost spells, due to the fact that they all will be playing, essentially, a support role. Well, except Ice Lance. And it was actually Ice Lance that clinched this for me. Y’see, in 2.4, Arctic Reach will be affecting Ice Lance as well, bumping it’s 30 yard range up to 36 yards, just like frostbolt. Most importantly, the extra range on Ice Lance will allow you to force your target into combat even earlier than you could before. Sorry, Mr. Warrior, no Charge for you.
Shatter – an extra 50% to critically hit any frozen (rooted or hunter trapped) target. Quite simply, a must have. Remember that Fireball/Ice Lance shatter I mentioned before. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right.
Cold Snap – a must have. Your frost spells, while only in a supportive role, are nonetheless incredibly necessary. Necessary as in a tank needs a healer necessary; necessary as in a hunter needs a pet necessary. To be blunt, you need all the cooldowns you can get. Frost Nova, Ice Barrier, Ice Block, Icy Veins, you need them to make an elemental build work.
Improved Cone of Cold – here’s another spot where you can afford some leeway. If you don’t use CoC very often, or only use rank 1 for the AoE snare, you don’t need to get this talent. Me, I use this spell in an offensive role, so I need all the damage I can get from it. Again, whatever it is you need, go spend the points there. Put all three points into Permafrost if you use CoC for the snare only, it will make CoC the BEST snare you have available (60% speed reduction).
Ice Floes – again, I stress that you will be relying on your frost spells and talents a lot. Ice Floes will allow you to use all your abilities far more often. More CoCs, more Ice Barriers, more Cold Snapping, more Ice Blocks.
Ice Barrier – defensive shield that is absorbs damage. Need I say more? This spell should be up every time you get a chance to use it, regardless of it’s mana cost. You have mana gems for a reason, use them.
I highly encourage you to give this build a try, especially pre-70, when the lack of resilience (compared to 70) makes this spec feel ridiculously overpowered.
Well. I mean, don’t try it YET, wait for 2.4. There are some very nice buffs in that patch (specifically that Molten Shields thing) that will make the spec a lot better than it is now.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an Alterac Valley to test.