It was only a matter of time, right?
After the break: reflections, opinions, challenge
In the same vein that Pike declares her allegiance to Beastmaster, I am, was, and always will be Frost. Squirtles, Ice Barriers, Icy Veins, ridiculous Blizzard crits; there’s simply too much in that school for me to stay away for too long. I mean, Arcane was great and all, but I just felt dirty using it, especially before the nerf. With my awesome shatter skills and the ridiculousness of pre-nerf Glyph of Arcane Blast, clipping missile barrage with arcane blast helped me blast my way to the top of the charts.
Now the nerf-bat has come and brought the spec back in line with Frostfire Bolt, I’ve crashed back down to earth, doing reasonably high DPS for my gear level. But for the 100 or so DPS increase, it was no longer worth giving up the playstyle that I excelled at for the longest time.
This past week has been a clear case of “bring the player, not the class.” My first foray back into frost spec saw me pugging out a 25-man Sartharion no drakes. I used the spec suggested by Tuna in his 3.0.8 DPS experiment, but swapped a few points here and there. I eschewed Student of the Mind in favour of Arcane Absorption for the 40 spell resistance, and swapped Deep Freeze for Frostbite, enabling Fingers of Frost procs on my Blizzard.
Frostbite totally paid off, as I ended up doing massive amounts of AoE DPS on the 4-dragon pulls, only being bested by two overly geared Death Knights in the group. I held my own against the bosses as well, tipping well over 3k thanks to a lucky sundial proc during heroism. I ended the night with 2.9k overall, giving me a solid 4th spot on the charts, trailing the two DK’s and a Ret Pally. Certainly feels good beating out the other 2 mages, one each of Frostfire and Arcane.
I guess it helps that I put Focus Magic on the Holy Pally, and having an Arcane Mage for Slow. But that’s what it means to be “raid-buffed.” I wonder what my DPS would have been if one of the DK’s had been Dual-wield spec with double Rune of Razorice. Ahh, well I can only dream.
Bring the Player, Not the Class
My adventures in the Obsidian Sanctum certainly support the notion that not all players are created equal. Just because one spec gives a theoretically higher DPS output than another doesn’t mean that a player will be able to perform perfectly under the right conditions. There are playstyles that certain people can do well with, and there are others that they can struggle with.
If you’re a mage, just do what you love to do. For the first time in practically forever, there are four viable and differing specs and playstyles that can do competitive DPS in a raid environment, and they all provide differing degrees of raid utility. There is no longer an excuse to be a “bad mage.” Bring your strudels and portals with you, but they won’t be the forefront of your assets. Hit large, and hit often; mages have it made from here on out, at least until Ulduar comes out.
What class can raise eyebrows with a mere 1500 base spellpower, but can squeeze out 3k with it? A mage can, if done properly!
Firing the First Volley: Plays Well With Others
My glorious return to Frost can only mean one thing; I must once again sound the horns of war against the brotherhood (and sisterhood!) of mages. The spec wars have begun once again, and I have declared my allegiance with an icy blue banner. I begin with this opening shot: Frost brings an awesome Mana Battery in Improved Water Elemental.
When Glyphed and fully talented, Water Elemental has a 2 minute cooldown and a 1 minute duration, meaning it has 50% uptime. Not only does this increase your DPS by a good margin, but it means half the time you’re going to be constantly regenerating mana at a rate of 0.6% every 5 seconds.
Let’s take Patchwerk as your textbook DPS race example. With a 6-minute enrage timer, you will be getting 3 minutes of Water Elemental uptime. That’s a whopping 21.6% of your total mana over the course of the entire fight. But that’s not all! Simply cast Cold Snap after the last water elemental, and you can get 4 minutes of Water Elemental uptime, or 28.8%!
Oh, did I mention that it stacks with replenishment? 0.25% every second adds up to 1.25% every 5. When stacked with Water Elemental in the same Patchwerk fight, one could potentially regain upwards of 88.8% of their mana back.
Don’t worry, jaded Twilight Princess fans; 88% is actually a GOOD thing this time around!
Sounds like those mana-hungry Arcane Mages could use a Frosty in his or her party, eh?
P.S. – I finally discovered headers! Hooray for me!