It’s a newish build that I’m sure will catch on in popularity with mages. Maybe. At least, it deserves to catch on in popularity.
By now, even people who are only peripherally aware of WoW have some inkling of what PoM Pyro is. They may not know the mechanics or actual spells involved, but they do know it translates to “uber move”.
Or, if someone says “I got PoM Pyrod”, everyone knows they’re actually saying ”😥 “.
Combining deep arcane with some frost hasn’t really been a viable strategy since the Burning Crusade was released, with one notable exception (40/0/21, anyone?) It certainly hasn’t been a popular combination for the PvP side of things in quite a long time.
Sure, occasionally the brave mage would combine AP + PoM with Shatter and then dual crit frostbolts in some poor fool’s face. The problem with that build is that it could only do that every 3 minutes.
The rest of the time the spec basically functioned like a deep frost build without any deep frost talents. This was because, of course, the arcane tree was horrendously bad at PvP.
Then along comes instant Invisibility, an Evocate that heals, Arcane Barrage, dispel protection, and the idea of a 3 minute mage being discarded in favour of a 2 minute mage.
Many specced 51/10/0, rushing around battlegrounds wtfpwning everything in their path. Many lusted after Pyroblast. It’s only natural. The arcane tree and the fire tree have been good buddies for years.
But… some were discontent. Some looked at the nature of Pyroblast, Ignite, and Impact, and said “That is way too much RNG for my tastes.”
Then… they looked to the frost tree. And discovered that Shatter was conveniently positioned so that one only needed to spend 18 points in the frost tree to max out the talent. Conveniently leaving just enough points over to get a fully fleshed out deep Arcane build.
A deep Arcane build that rather conveniently was really good at PvP, even if you only spent 51 points and left the remaning twenty alone.
And lo, they took to the battlegrounds, rooted somebody, and double frostbolted them.
And then. They laughed. They laughed long. For their opponent had been destroyed so utterly, so rapidly, there was no question that God himself had annointed the mage’s PoM Frostbolt macro with +35 to Smiting.
Even the mightiest of the mighty see the majority of their hitpoints wiped out in mere seconds.
It’s not everyone who can take two back-to-back crits of 10k damage without batting an eye. Especially with their healer silenced, and in full knowledge that two more instants are coming down the pipe.
As mentioned before, the classic deep arcane with fire build relies relatively heavily on the RNG. The whole build depends on the power of Pyroblast, Impact, and Clearcast.
If Pyroblast doesn’t critically strike… it doesn’t deal a lot of damage. Hence the reliance on Clearcast. Or, to be more specific, the reliance on Arcane Potency. A boost of 30% to spell critical strike chance can give the mage good odds.
Even if their base critical strike chance is in the 20% area, that’s still a 50/50 chance for a truck full of pain.
The problem is what happens the other half of the time…
Impact, too, follows this. As an unplanned stun effect, the enemy cannot prepare for it. It’s random. They can only react.
And being random, sometimes it’s absolutely crippling (OH SHIII-), sometimes it barely even registers as a minor inconvenience (le sigh, stunned again).
A regular arcane build already has enough RNG floating around (spell resistance, Missile Barrage if you took it), adding even more to the mix just allows for more varied results.
Say you have two ten sided dice. You can roll anywhere from 2 to twenty. That’s pretty random. Toss in another four ten sided dice. Now you’re looking at rolling anywhere from 6 to 60. The spread of numbers you can get vastly outnumbers what you could get before.
Thus, sometimes you rock the house and solo three people without effort, sometimes you lose to a level 71 Death Knight who couldn’t spell “arbitrary” even if you gave him a dictiounry.
(That was a reference to some idiot in trade chat telling somebody else to “look it up in the dictiounry”.)
((Yes, I’ve rejoined trade chat on most of my toons. I tend to ignore it, but in my struggle to make cash, I’m on the lookout for deals and Portal sales. To be fair, people spamming “Erf!” for half an hour was actually pretty funny.))
(((I’ve managed to make 1500 gold in three days. To some, this is pathetic. To me, it’s like that swimming pool of money I’ve always wanted.)))
Enter the frost tree, a tree that makes it a point to not rely on dice rolls. Sure, the RNG can help, but it’s more of a mild pleasantry than fundamental strategy.
And that is where the attraction lies. Why settle for a good chance for a critical strike when you can guarantee one?
Consider. You have a base critical strike chance of 20%. Arcane Potency comes up. 50% chance to crit. A frost mage roots some poor hapless fool. You have Shatter. This gives you a critical strike chance of 100%.
Did I mention that Ice Shards and Spell Power stack? Well, they do. Oh yeah, and Torment the Weak enters the equation here, too.
Lemme run this down for you.
Say you’re partnered with a frost mage. He just nailed a target with Deep Freeze. They used their trinket earlier to escape Polymorph.
You pop AP and a trinket. You hit PoM to drop a second frosbolt right after the first.
Both of these frostbolts are getting an extra 12% damage from TTW. Both receive an extra 30% damage from AP. Both are, in all practicality, guaranteed to critically strike. Both will crit for 225% damage.
Try it out on a dummy if you don’t believe me. You can root those suckers, just tag ’em with Frost Nova and hurl two frostbolts at it. See what happens.
Feel free to toy around with your own talent builds for this. Here’s an idea. Mess around with it. Just make sure all the must have core abilities are there, and you’ll be fine.
Must Have Core Abilities
Arcane Subtlety, Magic Absorption, Arcane Concentration, Magic Attunement, Torment the Weak, Presence of Mind (and every talent that has it as a prerequisite), Spell Power, Arcane Barrage, Ice Shards, and Shatter.
I also highly recommend Frostbite, Piercing Ice, Prismatic Cloak, Slow and Icy Veins.
If you STILL haven’t tried arcane in PvP just yet, get to it! You’re really missing out.