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Malon’s MOP Mage Tips 5.2

Today’s guest post is by Malon of <Nightshift> on Wildhammer-EU. He has been a raiding Mage since WoW’s European launch.

Hi Everyone,

I’ve had some requests on Twitter (where I post as @ArcaneTactics) to collate my #MageTips series into a single document. These are various helpful hints and tricks for PvE Mages; things that will help eke out a bit more damage, utility or survivability on the various encounters WoW has to throw at its most squishy class.

Some of these tips – especially the 5.0 ones – may now be out of date, but (flagrant self-promotion) I post new ones every week. If anyone has any questions or comments, I’d welcome them. Thanks again to Liss for hosting this post – and for recently combining Restokin’s Druid news with useful Mage advice. If you have more Mage Tips, feel free to post them as comments in this thread, or tweet them to @arcanetactics!

Stay frosty (or otherwise…),

Malon.

Mogu’shan Vaults

  • Blazing Speed is a good way to quickly paint a lot of tiles in the heroic Stone Guard encounter
  • Using RoP+glyphed Evocation in Gara’jal’s spirit realm will constantly renew the Spiritual Innervation buff.
  • Nether Tempest is the most efficient way to kill Gara’jal’s adds. Apply it to each one; it’s faster than directly damaging them.
  • You can Blink out of Subetai the Swift’s Pinning Arrow on the Spirit Kings encounter.
  • Ticks/explosions from NT and LB DO NOT proc the negative effects of the shields on Heroic Spirit Kings.
  • Spamming Scorch during phase 2 Elegon, increases your chances of a HU proc. Pyro! is absolutely necessary to down the Energy Charges.
  • Place Rune of Power nine-tenths inside Elegon’s ring; you’ll benefit from it while standing on the edge & jumping to clear stacks.
  • The Glyph of Blink causes the spell to bug out on Elegon’s platform; remove it for that fight.
  • Touch a Spark and quickly Blink to avoid damage on H Will of the Emperor.

Heart of Fear

  • A FAST Blink will sometimes let you avoid the damage from Tay’ak’s Unseen Strike (there is a short stun before the damage).
  • It’s possible to spread CB from Garalon’s body to his up to 2 legs, but only from a leg to his body – never another leg.
  • Glyphed Ice Lance will cleave from Garalon’s body to his legs, but not vice versa.
  • You can Blink out of Amber Prisons in the Wind Lord Mel’jarak encounter.
  • Mel’jarak’s Blademasters will put a debuff on players before charging them; this can be Ice Blocked off, cancelling the charge.
  • Ice Block will remove Amber-Shaper Un’sok’s Parasitic Growth ability – a great help in Phase 3.

Terrace of Endless Spring

  • Alter Time will reset your Dread Shadows stacks on Tsulong to 1, no matter how many you had when you cast it.
  • ArcEx can be used to keep Arcane Charge stacks during Lei Shi’s Get Away! ability.
  • Greater Invis and Alter Time appear (unconfirmed) to remove stacks of Scary Fog on H.Lei Shi. Try not to be assigned to this role.
  • Ice Block can be used to negate Breath of Fear, giving more uptime on the Sha of Fear’s adds. Double the fun with Cold Snap!
  • Greater Invisibility is a viable alternative on Sha of Fear; it will be up for every Death Blossom, allowing you more DPS time.
  • The Sha of Fear is big enough that AEx will refresh your AC stack from a fair distance. Use it before Cackle to retain your stack!

Throne of Thunder

  • Blazing Speed is my Recommended Talent for Jin’Rokh the Breaker; combine with Blink for speedy recovery from orb kiting.
  •  Build a big Combustion on Tortos; it can be spread to mini turtles as they spawn.
  •  Useful! #MageTips RT @jnsplace Use Ice Floes on Tortos during turtle or rock dodging phases.
  •  Slightly less useful. #MageTips RT @IRONF0RGED Don’t die.
  •  Blazing Speed + Cinder on Megaera = super-fast Icy Ground melting.

General

  •  RoF is great to temporarily halt (then gather for AE) one stream of Ancestors during An Urgent Plea
  •  Haste increases ALL your regen, not just passive; It affects mana gained from Evocation and Gems, too.
  •  Temporal Shield with Cauterise is an amazingly sexy combination with massive self-healing potential.
  •  Make a macro for /cast Mage Bomb. It will change depending on the Bomb you pick.
  •  Damage from Blizzard and Flamestrike do not break Frost Nova.
  •  With reasonable latency and glyphed DF, you can get an IL+DF combo off with just one FoF charge. Lance MUST come first!
  •  A macro combining Temporal Shield (off the GCD) and Incanter’s Ward is very useful!
  •  The first ‘tick’ of Frozen Orb will always grant a FoF charge.
  •  Alter Time will only interrupt spell casting if you’ve moved since casting it. If you stand in the same place, it won’t.
  • This post on EJ is an excellent chart that tells you exactly when your next haste breakpoint is approaching.
  • The Glyph of Rapid Teleportation will also work on portals cast by other Mages and NPCs (like the one on Shan’ze Dao)
  • Glyph of Icy Veins contains a hidden +20% chance to proc Fingers of Frost, to make up for the reduced tick speed of Bomb spells.
  • ‘Fight fire with fire’ does not apply to A’lar.
  • Use “/cast [@target] Frostbolt” to stop yourself auto-casting at your pet.
  • Your Bomb spells will explode when your target dies, not just when they expire.
  • Arcane Explosion makes the Pest Problems daily, for the Tillers, ridiculously fast (5.2 update: also applies to The Creeping Carpet of Ihgaluk).
  • Contrary to opinion, Arcane AoE IS viable (on high-health targets). Bomb, Flamestrike and clear stacks with ABG, rather than keeping them.
  • Ancient Teleport: Dalaran (from Koegler’s shelves if Book Burner doesn’t hit books) is a great way to get to the Greench…or troll raid mates.
  • If you can hit something with it, Arcane Explosion is a useful way to keep AC stacks up while moving.
  • Frost is a good offspec for haste-stacking Arcane Mages, as they both benefit from the stat (unlike Fire or mastery-Arcane).
  • Generally, Frost’s AoE and burst makes it superior to other specs for Challenge Modes.
  • Glyph of Armours increases each armour’s defensive benefit by 10 percentage POINTS, not 10% of the original number.
  • Frost Bomb calculates its damage based on when it explodes, not when you cast it. Make sure your cooldowns are up.
  • NT and LB can be ‘clipped’ – refresh them just before they expire and you’ll still get the last tick/explosion.
Posted in Mage, Mists of Pandaria, Patch 5.0, patch 5.1, Voices From The Community

Shadow Priest Mastery: Shadow Orbs Explained

This round of “Voices from the Community” is brought to you by a shadow priest named Snakeneyes. He is in Undying Resolution on Elune (yes, that’s Lissanna’s guild), and he may be joining Restokin more frequently with shadow priest hints and tricks.

Understanding the Mastery of Shadow Priests is critical for determining which spells need to be cast and when. The priest mastery is called Shadow Orbs.

Although the Shadow Priest Mastery is on the complicated side, there are only 3 stages to think about. The current stage you are in will determine which actions you should follow up with.

Stage-

  1. No Shadow Orbs are revolving around yourself.

  2. 1-3 Shadow Orbs are revolving around yourself.

  3. You have the Empowered Shadow buff on yourself.

It is important to note that stage 3 can occur at the same time as stage 1 and 2.

Stage 1

A typical combat encounter begins with the player at stage 1. The goal of the shadow priest is to cast Shadow Word: Pain (SW:P) and Mind Flay (MF) to gain at least 1 Shadow Orb. SW:P and MF have a chance when dealing damage to trigger 1 Shadow Orb.

Stage 2

With at least 1 shadow orb floating around, casting Mind Blast (MB) or Mind Spike (MS) will cause you to gain Empowered Shadow. A higher number of orbs will cause Mind Blast and Spike Spike to deal a higher amount of damage. Once Mind Blast or Mind Spike is cast with at least 1 orb, you will gain Empowered Shadow.

Stage 3

Congratulations, you have Empowered Shadow! This is a self buff that allows all of your periodic damaging spells to deal more damage. This includes Shadow Word: Pain (SW:P), Vampiric Touch (VT), Devouring Plague (DP), and Mind Flay (MF). The buff becomes stronger as your mastery stat increases. But does not get stronger with more Shadow Orbs.

The Mastery stat effects 2 major areas of our DPS. Mastery increases the damage boost that each individual orb gives to Mind Blast and to Mind Spike. Secondly, Mastery increases the damage boost that Empowered Shadow grants periodic damage spells (SW:P, VT, DP, MF). While Shadow Orbs increase the damage of MB and MS depending on how many orbs are stacked, a higher stack of Shadow Orbs does not increase the damage benefit Empowered Shadow gains. One Shadow Orb grants the same Empowered Power buff as three.

Keeping track of your mastery is essential to playing the Shadow Priest class well. If you do not have a Shadow orb, SW:P needs to be on the boss and MF needs to be spammed until the first Orb shows up. As soon as you see you have that first orb, cast MB to gain Empowered Shadows. Next, cast your remaining DOTs (VT and DP). Make sure to only refresh VT and DP if the Empowered Shadow buff is present.

Posted in Cataclysm, Priest, Voices From The Community

Guest Post: The Art of Doing 700 Things at Once

Today’s “voices from the community” guest post is written by Aunaka, a resto druid from the Aunaka Heals blog.

Medic!

As healers we are given, in my completely biased opinion, the hardest job in game. We’re in charge of anywhere from 4-24 other peoples health, if we’re lucky we have a couple of other great healers to help us with it, but it is still a rather daunting job on paper. One that, mind you, I would never give up.

I’ve noticed over the years that there are aspects that separate good healers from those that are great, and certainly from those that are bad. When it comes down to basic healing, all we have to do to be called a healer is press a button.

Anyone can push a button, hell I’m fairly certain they taught a goldfish how to push a button and they only have a 30 second memory.

Whenever anyone has ever asked me if they should play a healer, my fist question is, can you mulit-task? If you can’t multi-task you will never be a great healer. As a raid healer you are going to need to think of a minimum of 5 things:

  • Actually healing people
  • Boss Mechanics (Which should really count as 2 or more.)
  • Personal Cooldowns
  • Raid Cooldowns
  • Positioning (Look at your damn feet!)

Standing in Fire Gives You a Buff

I’m hoping that everyone knows what raid awareness is, but encase someone doesn’t I will give you a quick quote from a former Raid Leader.

Raid Awareness, is the act of being aware of your surroundings, your own buffs/debuffs, and any boss mechanics.

Raid awareness is a very big part of being a healer, it’s something that we should strive to naturally work into our healing rotation. It’s not another button to push or a Global Cooldown(GCD) to watch, but it is just as important. Going hand in hand is being knowledgeable about the fight, 15 minutes of research before a raid, can mean the difference between a wipe and a kill. When you use both of these resources I promise that you will find healing to be much easier.

As an example I will use Heroic Blackhorn, since that’s currently what my guild is working on, and it’s the inspiration for this post.

For healers this fight has many added “benefits”:

  • We are partnered up with another DPS and you have to be able to run at a moments notice to stand in a Twilight Barrage.
  • There is fire that spawns on the floor.
  • There are things Mobs charging random players, including you, that you have to move out of.
  • Ever 30 seconds there is a Twilight Onslaught that everyone needs to stack up on and you have to be able top everyone off right after.

That’s just Phase 1.

This fight is chalk full of raid awareness opportunities. It requires you to time not only your own personal cooldowns so that you are taking as little damage as possible, but you also need to time your raid cooldowns so that you can use them in Phase 1 and Phase 2. You can’t cast Tranquility, as an example, near the Deck Fires, they will spread and burn you alive. Which is, I’m told, the opposite of what we want.

Which is where a little research comes in, and there are so many resources online that you can use to “Learn Yo’self”.

Healing is not for everyone and it takes a special person to really excel at it, but if you can do it, it will be one of the most rewarding game play experiences of your life.

/Cheers

Posted in Cataclysm, Restoration Healing Trees, Voices From The Community

Repost: 4.3 Resto Druid Dungeon Companion

Today, we have a new “voices from the community” post by Shakk on US-Sargeras, in the guild Seriously Casual. He is a restoration druid, and today he will be talking about the new 5-man dungeons and strategies for resto druids. He may be joining us as a more permanent fixture (like Garnaph). We’ll work on improving the blog’s interface to better distinguish between posters “soon” now that the blog is growing bigger with more writers.

As people prepare to take down the new Dungeons, Raids, and the new Raid Finder difficulty, a lot of young resto druids might feel lost, or somewhat discouraged when they set foot into the more difficult content. I want to stress that communication is key. Being able to talk to members of your party to help you get through a fight, will make or break you in any environment WoW throws at you.

In this guide, I will cover how to handle the mechanics that will be thrown at you as a resto druid. Being that we aren’t a “snap” healer per say, we have to manage our toolkit a little bit more tightly in 5 man encounters, to ensure that we have enough heals to mitigate the damage going out. I will discuss mechanics that I feel, after multiple clears on each one of these dungeons, will have a fight changing mechanic for your class that you will need to be able to handle.

—End Time—

The first two bosses that you will encounter are randomly chosen out of 4 bosses. I have listed information pertaining to each one below.

Echo of Baine

  • Baine will target a platform that players are present on, and destroy it. Sending everyone into the lava, and taking damage. If all players are on the same platform expect to have to blow a cool down to keep everyone up. I recommend ToL and Barkskin to make sure everyone makes it out of the lava.
  • When Baine comes into contact with lava, he gains an ability called Molten Fists that will cause him to deal 10,000 additional fire damage to the target of his melee swings for 10 seconds. Be prepared to dump additional healing into your tank, however a tank cool down will help you get through this phase.

Echo of Jaina

  • She does not melee the tank; instead she casts [Pyroblast] at him the entire fight. It was a little more aggravating to heal through then a standard melee boss, as it cannot be interrupted and leaves an undispellable dot on the target. It is essential to manage uptime on your Lifebloom and Rejuv on the tank. Also I found, once she teleports and the tank gets back into position, a well-placed Efflorescence will greatly reduce the incoming damage.
  • The avoidable part of this fight is [Flamecore] which places a meteor on the ground that players must run over within 10 seconds. However, she sometimes throws it in a bad spot, and you might have to take the effect of it. So if you have a suspicion that you are not going to get to the meteor in time, ensure everyone is close to full health and be ready with tranquility.

Echo of Tyrande

  • There are basically two areas that you fight this boss in, the inner ring and the outer ring. If you are inside the inner ring, you will have your casting speed slowed by 25%, however if you are standing in the outer ring you do not have a casting speed debuff, but there are additional ground mechanics that are easy to avoid. I chose to stand on the outside, and dodge the abilities. This allowed me to benefit from my entire toolkit.
  • At 30% she will have 2 stacks of her casting speed buff, and she is casting 50% faster. Also, she adds a new ability called [Tears of Elune] and the damage is going to really ramp up. Be ready to use your strong cool downs. Also make sure you do not enter sub 30% with low mana, as this is the most challenging portion of the fight. ToL and Tranquility will more than likely be essential for you to survive this.

Echo of Sylvanas

  • Arguably one of the easiest bosses to heal in this instance. Although, there isn’t any game breaking mechanics or high damage phases, you should note a couple of things. If the target of [Black Arrow] dies from the dot, or the initial damage, they will have a skeleton summoned from their corpse to fight for the boss. Also, if someone steps into the shadow behind the ghouls, they are pretty much a goner unless you have Nature’s Swiftness and HT immediately on them, and they get back into the safe zone.

Murozond

  • [Temporal Blast] is the debuff you need to be aware of. At the first application, it deals 25k arcane damage, but applies a stacking debuff to damage taken. As the fight goes on, it becomes difficult to heal through.
  •  The only other thing I am going to touch on, is that the hourglass refills every players health, mana, and resets all cool downs. You can activate the hourglass 5 times, so do not be afraid to use your cool downs when the damage is going out, and make sure to hit the hourglass when things start to spiral out of control!

—Well of Eternity—

Peroth’arn

  • In this encounter healers need only be aware of a couple high damage abilities. [Corrupting Touch] is a stacking tank debuff. The second and most important is [Fel Decay] which will cause the healer to take damage, based on how much they heal the target of this debuff. Ensure you have enough health to survive.

Queen Azshara

  • This fight doesn’t have any fight changing mechanics built into it. However, it does have stack damage that you need to be aware of. As more minions become active, there is going to be high levels of raid damage. If you can avoid using your cool downs with fewer minions up, it will significantly aide you when you must deal with multiple at one time! I recommend saving tranquility for later in the fight.

Varo’then & Mannoroth

  • Illidan grants himself a buff called [Waters of Eternity] which greatly reduces fire damage taken. It is a great idea to stand close to him whenever possible.
  •  The area that you as a resto druid should shine far above other healing classes is [Fel Firestorm]. All you have to do is constantly run around (think Baradin Hold) while it is active, and heal people that take damage. Do not stop to heal, or you will take damage. Only use hots and instant casts.
  • Once Varo’then is defeated. I found it easier to stand on top of the tank for the rest of the fight, so they could pick up the mobs that were spawning and I wouldn’t suffer pushback.

—Hour of Twilight—

 

Arcurion

  • [Chains of Frost] is a dispelable root that he places on players and holds them into place. Coupled with the icy boulders that are raining down on you from above, it is imperative to get this dispelled as quickly as possible.
  • At 30% is when the AoE damage kicks in, the boulders are still coming and Arcurion activates [Torrent of Frost] which causes roughly 15k damage per second to all party members, if your group is slow at burning consider having a cool down available.

Asira Dawnslayer

  • Asira will randomly drop a [Smoke Bomb] equivalent to that of the rogues ability, however hers does damage to all players inside of it. If people are taking too much damage inside, remember non targeted heals will hit players inside the smoke bomb. Consider using Wild Growth or Tranquility if the damage is too high.

Archbishop Benedictus

  •  [Righteous Shear] & [Twilight Shear] are two dispellable abilities during this encounter. They both deal high amounts of damage to players. You must remove the stacks of this debuff, although Thrall does assist you in this, two dispellers are better than one.
  • The Archbishop will also summon a [Wave of Twilight] on the platform. If a player fails to move out of the wave, immediately pop Barkskin and another ability to get your raid topped off. The damage will keep being dealt as long as the person remains in the wave.

Sources: In game testing, the dungeon journal, and wowhead for up to date links

Posted in Cataclysm, Voices From The Community, Written By Shakk

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