Mages have access to a whole bunch of skills that make others go green with envy. Blink, evocation, blink, frost nova, blink… I think you get the point.
In and of itself, Blink is a fairly innocuous ability. All it does is teleport you forwards 20 yards, and it sometimes fails if the terrain is stupid (like all of the Blade’s Edge arena). The PvP implications here are pretty obvious, after all, the ability to instantly traverse a distance (and escape from stuns!) is incredible.
Of course, the ability to instantly move away from something or towards something is an extremely powerful skill in raiding, too.
This is yet another thing I just sorta assumed most, if not all, mages do. Nearly every boss fight in the game has some sort of mechanic where blinking can make your job easier, the healers job easier, and even utterly trivialize some boss mechanics.
So I made a list!
Note: this list only includes current raid content, and in many cases, will exclude hard mode content, as I have not played that content. If you have, and would like to add your own tricks, by all means do so! I’ll add it to the original post.
Just use control + F and the code provided to instantly jump to any section of this guide.
— Arachnid Quarter: 1xax
— Plague Quarter: 1xqx
— Construct Quarter: 1xcx
— Death Knight Quarter: 1x1d
— Frostwyrm Lair: 1xfx
Eye of Eternity: 1e1e
Obsidian Sanctum: 1s1s
— Siege of Ulduar: 1a1s
— Antechamber of Ulduar: 1a2a
— Keepers of Ulduar: 1a1e
— Descent into Madness: 1a1d
Trial of the Crusader: 1t1c
There’s really only the one mechanic here that concerns a ranged DPS, and that is impale. You can blink to get away from the spikes, or, if you do get hit, you can blink while in mid-air to immediately teleport back to the ground. Or Slow Fall, if you wish to float gently.
Grand Widow Faerlina
Rain of Fire is the only major concern here. Easy enough to get out of without using blink, but you can avoid a tick or two of damage by using it.
Nothing of import here, really. You can use blink to rapidly close to a group of spiderlings and frost nova them, or if somebody’s cocooned out of your range.
Noth the Plaguebringer
The skeleton adds on this fight can and will cast an Arcane Nova ability, which you can easily escape from. Blinking towards a tank if you grab aggro on something here can also save you a lot of trouble.
Interestingly, Noth himself will blink frequently, and sometimes this will move him out of your range. Naturally, blink to catch up with him!
Heigan the Unclean
Blinking on a phase transition, either off the platform to start dancing or back onto the platform to resume DPS can save you some time. Of course, while dancing, you can blink from one quadrant to another to save yourself if you sneezed or got hit with a lag spike. Be careful with this, though, it’s easy to overshoot and end up in the wrong quadrant.
The spores summoned during this fight are an immense boost to your DPS. Naturally, using blink to get to them faster can allow you to have a greater uptime on the buff. Think of it like a reverse death grip.
(Obviously nothing for Patchwerk)
(and other miscellaneous slime pools)
Don’t bother figuring out the timing, don’t bother perfecting when to jump. Just blink past these insignificant obstacles. You might have to wait on blink’s cooldown, so go grab a quick drink of water/alcohol/dr. pepper.
At some point during this fight, grobby will force you to eat several pounds of expired burritos, causing you to drop a terrifyingly powerful could of gas ten seconds later. DO NOT blink when you move to position this away from the raid, if you can help it. It is much better to blink back towards the raid after the cloud has dropped, so you can resume DPS sooner.
Nothing for Blink here, but you can hit people with slow fall before jumping out of the tunnel. This will prevent early fall damage. I’ve also had a couple tanks demand slow fall so they land closer to the boss, though I don’t see the point as he auto-aggros.
Note that if you are assigned to handle the chow, you’ll need to use blink probably every cooldown, either to escape from chow or to snag one running for Gluth.
Mr. “The DPS wiped the raid again” is the first raiding encounter where blink and slow fall really prove their worth in gold and mana.
First, once the two mini bosses have been defeated, use slow fall to get to the main platform. You don’t have to time your jump, and failing the jump will become a thing of the past. To put it bluntly, it is impossible to fail the jump if you have slow fall up.
That said, hit as many of your fellow raiders with it too. Prioritize the tanks and healers, of course.
Blink totally negates the difficulty in changing positions when your polarity shifts. Simply blink to where you need to be, and once again you will be immune to failure. Provided you blink in the right direction. A good way to kill someone you don’t particularly like, though…
Death Knight Quarter
Gothik the Harvester
The adds here have an arcane nova ability, blinking from that can save you from death if you are low, or your healer some mana if you aren’t.
Travel time, travel time, travel time. Swapping between targets at the rear of the room has never been easier, and thanks to blink you can afford to DPS a couple more seconds longer than other classes can. You can also save the raid if someone screws up (or dies) by blinking in range of the horseman about to blow up the raid.
Kel’Thuzad does nothing interesting, so Sapphiron it is.
There are two occasions when blinking can save your life. First, to escape a blizzard if you lost track of where one was, or if it spawned on top of you. Second, to rapidly get close to an ice block if you are unfortunately positioned very far from one.
The Eye of Eternity
While this phase doesn’t really have anything interesting to do blink wise, slow fall has plenty. The entire raid will get picked up and hurled around like a bucket full of frogs. After the cyclone druids wished they had expires, everyone takes fall damage.
Unless, of course, they don’t! Chain cast slow fall on everyone you can, or spam instants on the boss, or both! Less stuff your healers have to heal, or a slight increase to the damage you dealt. Your choice.
Note that for many healers, they would prefer to take the fall damage and land earlier, so they can start actually healing again. Especially paladins. Discuss it with your healers beforehand, or just play it safe and only slow fall the DPS and tank.
The reverse of phase one. Nothing for slow fall to do, but blinking can and will save your life. When you need to move from one magical bubble to a new one, just blink to the new one. You’ll be at a far lesser risk of getting killed by a full strength Arcane Barrage that way.
The Obsidian Sanctum
Throughout this instance, you can use blink to rapidly close to any portals summoned by any of the smaller drakes. Starting DPS earlier means the stuff inside is killed earlier, which means it’s back to killing the boss earlier. All around good plan.
Walls of Fire.
Blink can be used to instantly teleport yourself to a safe spot from these evil walls of fire.
(I have not done this fight with more than one drake up, so I cannot say for sure if there are any strategies specific to the harder modes.)
The Siege of Ulduar
If you are on turret duty, you can use blink to get closer to your comfy Demolisher very swiftly, provided your comfy Demolisher is somewhere nearby. Naturally you can get closer to a motorbike this way, too.
Ignis the Furnace Master
If you get chucked into the pot, chances are good you are going to be dropped into a giant patch of fire. Blink can immediately evacuate from burning ground.
Blink can get you away from patches of fire easily, and is also a convenient way to be more efficient with your time if you are on spear launching duty. Use it either to blink closer to them, or blink away from them after you’ve fired them. Using it after will get you back and dealing damage faster.
Sometimes you will be hit with something that will cause damage to yourself and anyone near you. In the case of the Light Bomb, blink away from the raid to mitigate as much damage on the raid as you can. In the case of Gravity Bomb, save blink for after you’ve exploded, allowing you to return to DPS that much faster. This blink specific strategy does not change for hard mode.
Blink can also be highly effective at returning to healer range during Tantrum if you strayed to far, or getting near a group of robots to annihilate them.
The Antechamber of Ulduar
The Iron Council
There are many, many, MANY abilities here to flee from in any level of difficulty. There are things on the ground that will kill you, things in the air that will kill you, and even things that don’t technically exist, but will kill you anyway. There are also helpful blue runes that increase your damage.
In all cases, blink can and will get you away/towards the runes of death/not-death efficiently and speedily. There is no reason for you to take more than a single tick of damage from any ground targeted ability.
You can use blink to get away from eye lasers, provided you don’t depend exclusively on that to save you.
Also note that the edges around Kologarn ARE NOT CLIPPED, you can walk off and fall to your death. Or, if you are a mage, walk off, slow fall, and DPS Kologarn from the ground, out of range of the rest of your raid. Or at least you could last time I tried it.
Two instances where blink can make your life easier. First, when the raid recollapses on the tank after a fear, a properly aimed blink can save you a couple seconds of running. Second, escaping from a void zone has never been easier!
The Keepers of Ulduar
Like the Iron Council, it would be easier to list the instances where blink won’t help you. Ice falls from the sky, hugely helpful buffs spawn at random around the room… this is a fight designed to require lots of heavy movement, and blink is a spell designed to completely trivialize such fights. Whether you blink to get closer to a thunderstorm, or blink to get away from a falling snowbank you failed to notice earlier, blink can and will make your life easier.
There are several hard hitting AoEs that can and will utterly demolish you if you stand in them. Usually, they are easy to avoid, but maybe you sneezed or your reflexes aren’t as fast as a twenty year old who has Red Bull injected directly into his heart.
As with most things on this list, blink will save your life in a way few other classes ever get to experience. For hard mode, there is also a blizzard that roams around, so yet another thing blink can save you from.
Numerous opportunities to make vigorous use of blink, in every stage of the fight.
All phases – TREES. Trees spawn and will throw off massive heals if allowed to mature. Your job is to destroy them as fast as possible. Needless to say, this is significantly easier as a mage.
Final phase – There are these little glowy plant thingies on the ground. They also explode, and will happily hurl you dozens of yards. Move from them, blink from them, or you can blink immediately after getting hit with one to simply land roughly exactly where you used to be and continue DPS.
Ancient Water Spirit – This guy will periodically do a charge effect, which knocks back. Needless to say, you can blink out of the path of this effect, avoiding damage and an annoying knock back.
Detonating Lashers – You can blink from a group about to explode. Other than that, little to note here.
Ancient Conservator – Upon spawning, you can use blink to get under a mushroom very early. If you get hit with storm cloud, or a healer gets hit with it next to you, blink will seriously mitigate the damage taken.
Elder Ironbranch periodically casts Iron Roots on a player. This roots you, and deals plenty of damage. Happily, you can blink out of those roots, taking little if any damage, and it frees your raid up from having to kill the roots for you.
You shouldn’t have any difficulties with phase one. Blink would be a great way to utterly trivialize the mines, but we aren’t melee. Sucks to be a rogue, I guess!
Phase two features a deadly laser barrage that will kill you if you get hit. Naturally, you shouldn’t. Blink can be used to quickly move yourself into a safe spot.
Phase three doesn’t really require blinking either, but sometimes things go wrong and you need to get away from a bombot RIGHT QUICK!
Phase four doesn’t have anything special, mostly just escape laser barrage and you are fine.
Hard mode changes this a lot. Blink is immensely powerful on the hard mode for this fight. Parts of the room are going to be on fire, you’ll constantly be needing to move… and sometimes there won’t be a clear path to move. A 20 yard teleport here will make you wonder why you ever even considered rolling a different class.
Descent into Madness
Vezax is one of those fights where positioning and movement is the entire point of the fight and where the vast majority of the difficulty comes from. Like all fights where the emphasis is on movement, we mages trivialize it by blinking everywhere.
Shadow Crash on you? Reflexes not fast enough? Blink!
Mark of the Vampire Faceless on you? On the guy next to you? Blink!
If possible, you want to save blink for the Faceless debuff. That thing deals a lot of damage, and heals Vezax for a substantial amount of health. Ideally, you only want to get hit once with this. Two hits means you were too slow. How you deal with the Faceless mark depends on how the raid deals with it, and whether you are in 10-man mode or 25-man mode.
For instance, in 10-man, we split the ranged DPS into pairs. Say I get paired with the shaman. If either one of us gets hit with the Faceless mark, I blink away from him. One tick maximum. If we’re on a shadow crash, as soon as I’ve blinked, I start running back to continue DPS. Meanwhile, the shaman has run the other direction, so I can DPS safely.
If someone else gets hit with it, maybe you do nothing, maybe not. Either way, if you get hit with it, blink will save your raid a lot of mana and consternation.
Phase one – There are large glowy green cloud things floating around the room. You must (generally) avoid them at all costs. Again, blink is very helpful for swiftly escaping one.
Phase two – Blink is an incredibly valuable tool for getting into a sanity well, or for rejoining the fight from one. When you use it somewhat depends on how dire your sanity needs are. If you are on the verge of turning on your raid, probably a good idea to use blink to get to one. If your need is not dire, then it really doesn’t matter if you use it before or after, either way will get you back to DPS just as fast.
Blink also utterly trivializes the Brain Link ability. Blink towards whoever is on the other end, and in many cases that is all the action either party needs to take. One tick, two at absolute tops.
Trial of the Crusader
Gormok the Impaler
As with any “holy crap the ground is on fire” mechanic, blink can be used to escape from the fires here. Be careful you don’t blink straight into a stomp!
The primary reason you’ll use blink here is to deal with the paralytic toxin. If you have the toxin, you can close the distance to someone with the burning bile debuff very rapidly. Of course, the reverse is true, if you have the burning bile debuff and have to go save someone who is being paralyzed. Don’t forget to use Fire Ward to absorb some of that burning bile damage!
Two things here. Icehowl will periodically randomly hit people with a frost breath, that deals some serious frost damage and stuns you. As with all stuns, you can immediately blink out of it and resume DPS. Just try and remember to not leave your healers in the dust. There’s also an awesome little bonus to this, too. If you are the one targeted by his freezing breath, and you blink to break the stun, he will stop channeling immediately, and resume attacking the tank.
Second, when Icehowl slams into the wall and stuns himself, you want to get to him and DPS as hard as you can as soon as possible. Anyone remember which class has that instant twenty yard teleport?
This is even more important on hard mode, as you no longer receive the adrenaline boost buff. Blink will nearly be the only thing you can rely on to resume DPS swiftly, and will save your life if he decides to target you.
As with most fights, there are things to flee from. If an infernal sets up shop right next to you, blink away to avoid taking damage. Legion Flame? Blink away from the raid so you don’t drop the fire patches in horrible spots.
Treat this like PvP. What you blink away from depends what you are fighting, with a few exceptions here and there. The NPCs aren’t as smart or as adaptive as a real player would be, so you can afford to use blink to escape basically anything. One of these guys can and will kill you in a matter of seconds, so you usually can’t afford to save blink anyways.
Just be smart. If the warrior is bearing down on you bladestorming away, you are going to want to blink. If you let him get to you while he’s bladestorming, he’s going to kill you in roughly 2 seconds.
Doing this fight properly requires a lot of movement, though you shouldn’t really be using blink to either fetch or dodge random balls. Instead, you should use it to respond to the twins special abilities. If you need to rapidly change your light/dark alignment, the portals are conveniently just close enough that blink can get you to them with incredible ease.
Likewise, if you need to change between attacking one twin and the other, a quick blink can get you into range (for whatever reason you might be).
Sometimes, Anub’arak will send giant spikes out of the ground to kill you. These spikes are destroyed by patches of permafrost on the ground (destroying the permafrost in the process). It’s easy enough to kite these spikes without using blink, but… well, if you’ve come this far, you’ve probably stopped bothering to walk anywhere a long, long time ago.