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Common specs

Fire: Something along the lines of 18/53/0.

You need 18 points in the arcane tree (deep enough for 3/3 Torment the Weak) and 51 points in the fire tree (for Living Bomb). The details are largely up to you. Some mages skip Imp. Scorch, some mages get 2/3 in Arcane Meditation for a 20/51/0 build.

Frostfire: Something along the lines of 0/53/18.

Again, the details are largely up to you. Living Bomb is needed, and you also need to get Ice Shards from the frost tree. Getting Piercing Ice, Icy Veins and Frost Channeling is also highly recommended.

See my detailed guides to specific talent trees for further information to choose your talents.

For both specs, Combustion is a very useless cooldown. Highly recommended to not take it.

Abbreviations

FFB – Frostfire Bolt, compare FB for Fireball.

HS – Hot Streak, that proc that gives you an instant Pyroblast.

LB – Living Bomb, the end tree talent for fire.

Spell Rotation

Fire and Frostfire mages have essentially identical spell rotations. Just replace the word “nuke” with Fireball for Fire mages, and Frostfire Bolt for Frostfire mages.

As with most casters in today’s world… of warcraft, fire/frostfire mages do not have a proper spell rotation, merely spell priorities. These are those: (more…)

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Newbie Tips for the Arena

Season 6 is right around the corner, and it’s shaping up to be a rather “new guy” friendly place. With all teams starting at 0 rating, a team has nowhere to go but up. No more will your moral be dampened by watching your rating go down for three weeks solid when you start.

If that wasn’t enough, arena gear is being offered for those with lower ratings. Even if you have a “mere” 1400 rating, there’s still arena gear you meet the requirements for and can purchase.

Of course the gear won’t be the same quality as, say, a 2400 arena team has access to, but still. It’s something, which is a whole lot better than the nothing new players had in previous seasons.

So if you’re new to arenas, maybe just dabbling in them for the first time, or just haven’t played them in a long, long time, here’s a quick primer of things to get you started. (more…)

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Ideally, every single one of your major combat abilities, important combat utilities, and emergency buttons should be bound to a key to give you the fastest possible reaction time to using them.

It’s not easy getting there. It takes time and practice to get used to a new control format, which can be frustrating if you don’t exactly have a lot of time.

This guide is meant to ease you into the art of key binds, slowly and casually so you have time to adapt to your new controls and become proficient with them.

If you already use key binds, then this guide is not for you. :) Feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments!

1. Plan and Schedule when you’re going to try key bindings.

Realize beforehand that this isn’t going to be easy to do. It’s highly likely you will make mistakes when you accidentally press the wrong button. It’ll likely be frustrating, definitely awkward, and will certainly seem more difficult than just clicking.

Stick with it, you’ll see results shortly. The more you play, the more comfortable you become with your new control set, the better you will be.

Secondly, make sure that you have a large-ish block of free time before you have to do anything responsible in-game. If you’re a healer, and your guild raids Monday and Wednesday, starting your adventure into keybinds on Sunday or Monday would be disastrous. (more…)

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Gear Guidelines

Basic Stats

Spellpower is typically your strongest stat, superior to everything else, with hit a close second (until you are hitcapped). If you have higher values of spellpower and aren’t hit capped, hit is your strongest stat.

The relative worth of crit and haste depend on spec and the strength of the other two main DPS stats.

*Note*

Don’t take this to mean “ignore hit rating”. Just don’t go overboard trying to get hit capped, don’t socket everything with hit, and above all, don’t let your other stats (especially spellpower) suffer just to get some hit.

You do still want to get hit capped, you just don’t want to make sacrifices to get there.

For Frostfire based specs.

Spellpower is superior to hit until roughly the 1600-1700 spellpower range. At that point, they are about even, and higher values of spellpower (1700+) result in hit being the superior stat.

Haste and crit are nearly even, though relative to the other. If you have twice as much crit rating as haste rating, then haste is more valuable. If your haste rating is twice your crit rating, then crit is more valuable.

Spellpower is generally better than, point for point, haste and crit. Both of them are roughly at 2/3 strength compared to spellpower at lower values (1200, 1400).

They become even at a very high level of stats (2600+ spellpower, with both haste and crit sporting numbers over 500). Don’t expect haste/crit to outshine spellpower until you have more than 3000 spellpower. (more…)

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You and fifty thousand people just like you on your server are going to be aiming for the Merrymaker achievement.

Just like them, you have to complete the achievement “‘Tis the Season.”

Just like them, this means you need to get your hands on a hat.

But, of course, you’re a mage. That means you wear red. Capisce? Mages don’t wear green. EVER.

So. You need to get the Red Winter Hat, just like everyone else.

However, unlike everyone else, as long as you are level 80, you can go get it by yourself.

As usual, the special winter items only drop from certain humanoid bosses in certain instances. As usual, all the old school bosses no longer drop them to prevent said bosses from being killed solo. As usual, they can be killed solo anyway.

Here, then, is your guide to getting the Red Winter Hat, all by yourself. (more…)

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Arena: Basic Philosophy

The important things are always simple

There is no perfect magic trick to winning an arena fight. There isn’t a certain combination of spells that requires a warlock specced exactly 40/0/31, a fury warrior, and the mage trinket from Heroic Whatever that guarantees a win every time.

The advanced strategies are merely the basics, just with macros attached to them.

The simple things are always hard

That isn’t to say it’s easy; not by a long shot. Is it hard? Blimey, of course it is. It’s difficult to pull off a proper CC train. It’s difficult to pull of a target swap at the right time. It’s difficult to counter a CC train. It’s difficult to survive a target swap.

Yet the strategies you need to win, you probably learned before you acquired your first mount. You need only master them. (more…)

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Euripedes: Hey Ghostcrawler, we mages haven’t heard anything from you guys in a while. What’s up, man? Back in beta, it was all mages all the time.

Ghostcrawler: Ahh… you know, it’s all these Paladins and Warlocks. It’s… well, you know.

Euripedes: I hear ya, man. Those guys aren’t happy no matter what ya do fer ’em. Still, though, that’s no excuse. C’mon, man, I gave ya biscuits in AV!

Ghostcrawler: Alright alright… how ’bout some stuff about arcane mages? We got some damn good stuff ready to roll out, which should get it back into PvE and tone it down a little in PvP. Alsowenerfedblizzard.

Euripedes: Hey, sounds good. Wait… what was that last part?

Note: All bloggers are good friends with the developers of WoW. ALL of us. If a blogger tells you he/she isn’t, they’re lying through their keyboard.

So if you missed it, there’s finally some mage news on the horizon. Lo and behold, it’s exactly what we thought it was. Arcane gets the fixes we all were waiting for, and Blizzard gets nerfed. Who didn’t see that one coming? (more…)

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