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Archive for July 15th, 2008

M&M; Frozen Meats

For the good people over at M&M Meat Shops, I swear that this was a huge coincidence. I’M NON PROFIT, YOU CAN’T SUE ME!

*Ahem*

So let’s cover the remaining facet of magely crowd control, our frost spells. Downranking will be heavily abused here.

Frost Nova

Everyone’s favorite AoE root. It deals a tiny amount of damage, and roots everything close by to you to the ground for 8 seconds, barring any DR. This is one of your strongest weapons in any PvP situation, being one of the four effects that allows you to pull of a Shatter combo (the other three being the Frostbite proc, the water elementals ranged nova, and a hunter’s freezing trap).

Use Rank 1 Frost Nova. There is nothing to be gained from higher ranks of this spell. The higher ranks do slightly more damage for much more mana. Don’t even bother training the higher ranks, it’s just a waste of gold.

The use of Frost Nova is two-fold: to get away from melee style characters and for use in destroying other ranged classes.

When used on a melee class, the idea is to hit them with Frost Nova, walk away from them (use a swagger, trust me), then whirl around and drop a Shatter combo on their face. Melee classes, as a general rule, will tear you to pieces if you let them. This is exactly what Frost Nova prevents.

Note: Never ever ever ever ever Frost Nova somebody and then Blink away from them, unless they stun you (i.e. Hammer of Justice). Spending two cooldowns for the exact same purpose is, at best, wasteful, and at worse, idiotic.

Frost Nova is so good, that if you PvP with any other class, this will be the number one spell that you will miss. I can guarantee it.

Against most ranged classes, frost nova is used as a setup for Shatter, or a way to trap them where a teammate can freely attack them. It is especially deadly against hunters, as they only have one reliable class ability to help them escape, and they need to put 41 points into Beast Master to get it. Not to mention the fact that they rely on range to be effective, and when they can’t move… they’re probably not at range.

Frost Nova is least effective against druids, who can simply shapeshift out of the effect. Still, that forces them to use a GCD and spend mana to shift.

Frostbolt

Here is another mage spell that is ruthlessly effective at Rank 1. With Improved Frostbolt (you did take Improved Frostbolt, right?) Rank 1 of this spell has a measly 1 second cast time, assuming you have zero spell haste. It provides a ridiculously cheap and fast snare, something that you will definitely need to use often.

It can help slow ranged classes, giving the melee members of your team an easier time. It can be spammed… err, used against rogues in order to kite them. Modern rogues, these shadowstep nightmares, are incredibly hard to kite. You may find some use against warriors, but generally, warriors are a very easy kill and you usually don’t need to expend much effort to kill them.

It’s also a great spell to use on druids, as most of them are allergic to being snared by ANYTHING, and will almost always shapeshift to get rid of this debuff.

Oh yes, and it also stacks Winter’s Chill and has a chance to proc Frostbite.

With all this in mind, it is most effective against melee oriented classes. Snares have always been the bane of melee types, and Rank 1 Frostbolt is probably the worst of them. Almost free in it’s mana cost, absurdly fast cast time, same amount of snare as the full rank spell… I’m sure you can see why this is an awesome ability.

Cone of Cold

Yes, that’s right. Rank 1 Cone of Cold. It acts like Rank 1 Frostbolt, except it is instant cast, and it’s snare is 10% more powerful.

Note: the base slowing effect of frostbolt is 40%; the base slowing effect of Cone of Cold is 50%

Using Rank 1 Cone of Cold does cost 210 mana (base mana cost), and does use up the cooldown for Cone of Cold. Nevertheless, it is a very effective weapon in kiting, when you simply do not have time to stop moving to get off a frostbolt, but still need the snare. Once again, most effective against melee classes.

Bear in mind that in quite a few cases, it would be best to use full rank Cone of Cold, as you would require the damage it provides, in addition to the snare. You want to use Rank 1 Cone of Cold when the target you’re hitting it with is not the target your team is aiming to down first.

This is especially true if the target you need the snare to go on is scheduled to be polymorphed in the very near future. In this case, if you plan on sheeping whatever you’re kiting, using the full rank spell would almost be a total waste of mana.

Ice Armor

There is much debate over what armor type to use in arenas, whether to use Ice Armor or Molten Armor. As a rule of thumb, use Ice Armor if the majority of the other teams damage will come from melee attackers, Molten Armor in all other situations.

Ice Armor provides a boost to your armor values, and every time you are struck by a melee attack, the attacker has a (rather high) chance to slow their own movement speed by 30%, and have time between their attacks increased by 25%.

In other words, absolutely perfect for use against melee attackers.

Any and all ranks of Frost Armor and Ice Armor carry the same slowing percents, higher ranks merely increased the value of the armor boost. There is almost no tangible difference between using the highest rank of Ice Armor and using Rank 1 Frost Armor. The armor boost itself, at max rank, will reduce physical damage taken by approximately 4%, depending on how much armor the rest of your gear has.

Low armor gear will give a higher damage reduction, high armor gear will give a lower damage reduction. This is due to the fact that the more armor you have, the less each further point of armor decreases the damage you take. Just ask a tank, I’m sure they can explain it better than I.

Start each arena battle with Molten Armor ready to go. The 5% critical strike reduction is worth far, far too much in a PvP environment to give up, and the bonus 3% critical strike rating is tasty too.

Note: It may be worth starting 2v2 arenas with Ice Armor active, as quite a few teams in this bracket utilize a melee class.

If the opposing team is heavy on the melee and they come gunning for you, switch over to Rank 1 Frost Armor (the cheapest, mana wise) for some self regulating kiting. Otherwise, keep Molten Armor running.

Again, if you have any suggestions / additional strategies, leave a comment. The more complete these things are, the better.

All images from Stock.Xchng, except for the frostbolt symbol, which is from battle.net.

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