Feb 27, 2008

Bringin' More Than Just the Boom, pt 2

Un Muton!
Mage 101 is over, ladies and gentlemen, so if you missed the first class, I'm afraid we're going to have to send you back to grade school. Don't you dare return until you're feeling the urge to try Polymorph on your next door neighbor while sing-songing, "Un muton!"

Now that the kiddies are out of the way, welcome to the Advanced class, where we put away the things even the nubs know and pull out the subtler side of the Mage. Granted, 'subtle' is a relative term for a class that brings their own bonfire to every party and just adores hearing things Shatter, but ... hey. Rogues can have the sneak-up-and-murder-you end of the subtlety spectrum, and we'll take the veeeeeeeeeeery distant end, the one that kind of ... skirts the edges of the definition of the word.

So, on Monday, you pulled out the basic list to convince Mr. Party Leader that you're the right squishie for the job. He perused it, naturally impressed, but by some strange and perverse twist of the synapses, he's still not convinced enough to send you your invite! That's fine. Not everyone was born as smart as you were (after all, the World isn't 100% mage, is it?). Thus, it's time to bring out the big(ger) guns in your fight for your right to shusplodey.

Part 2: Advanced Abilities
  1. deCurse
    Decurse - Look, I know it's tough to take time away from the massive burst damage. We want to see the numbers fly. We want to see the fools who oppose us dying in blazes of glory! But... we do have a powerful and rather rare special ability that doesn't involve damage per second. Mages are one of only two classes* who can cleanse a Curse, arguably one of the nastier and more prevalent debuff categories in the game. Mobs and bosses alike love to throw curses around like evil candy, so your party will love you if you take the time to toss a few Remove Lesser Curse** on their sorry hides. It could save lives.

    ... and if saving lives is not a motivator at all for you, "Decurse" is also a great counter to those pesky, fear-loving Warlocks we love to hate. Take away their DoTs, and they're just pansy goth mages. If for no other reason than to thwart our most dastardly rivals, put that spell on a hotkey on your bar. Please? For me?

  2. Counterspell - Look, there's a set pattern for these things, right? We stand as far away as possible; we shoot a very powerful bolt of something destructive; the enemy gets mad; and while he waves his big axe and runs at us, we murderate him with extreme prejudice. Simple, right? Yeah... until you have to fight another caster. He, like you, prefers to keep his distance and nuke you from afar, which turns into an annoying casting-time battle that results in a few more scorch marks on your pretty dress. We don't like that, so we whip out our Counterspell and shove it in Mr. Caster's face. While he's choking on the 8-second lockout of his favorite (and hopefully only) school of magic, we are free to commence with the usual murderation.

    Word to the wise, though. Counterspell is not at its most effective unless your timing is precise. If he's not casting when your CS hits, then you've just triggered a 24 second cooldown for the pure joy of it. Watch carefully and account for lag.

  3. Whee!
    Group Hugsplosions - WoWwiki says that AoE stands for "Area of Effect", but we know better. AoE really means "All-over Explosions", because when we kick it into group-hug-destruction-mode, the fireworks of pain start flying. While a couple of other classes have a token AoE or two (pansy goth mages, for example), this is where the mages really take the field over their peers. No one else can take down multiple mobs with our speed and mana efficiency***, and when you combine that raw power with the fact that a lot of our Area damage spells also involve some form of life-saving crowd control, we become the best, most survivable AoE class in the game.+

  4. AmpMagic

    Amplify / Dampen Magic - Probably the best-kept mage supahsekrit spells in the game now stand before you, exposed in all their glory. Amplify and Dampen Magic are utility buffs that we can cast on ourselves, our allies or our enemies. They increase or decrease, respectively, the effect of magical spells and abilities on the debuffed target, which makes them a very flexible and situational pair of tools that most Mages seem to forget about in the pursuit of destruction. I'm here to tell you to dust those babies off and put them back on your bar. If you're smart about their application, these two spells can become a great boon to not only a party, but to the solo mage.

    Let's illustrate with a couple of potential situations:

    Example #1: You're bouncing around outside of Manaforge Cooru, taking out those pesky Sindorei for fun and profit. All those Sunfury Arcanists and Arch Mages in their red-and-gold robes make the place look like a Barbie convention, so you feel the need to bust in there and blow them out of the water with some Arcane Explosions. Cast Dampen Magic on yourself before you pull to save on the damage from these spellcasters, and throw some Amplify Magic on Spellbinder Maryana to take her down faster when she tries to come in and crash your murderation party.

    Example #2: Deep in a cave in Blade's Edge Mountains, there lives a large, smelly, and slobbery poppa gronn known as Gruul. If you gather up 25 of your bestest buddies and fight your way past the stupid ogres that worship him, you'll get your chance to molest him for his phat porples. Now, Gruul, being a rather unintelligent fellow, doesn't know any forms of magic at all; his attacks are all physical. This means that you can buff your entire team with Amplify Magic to enhance the power of any heals that are cast on them.

  5. Mage-Yoink - No longer do rogues have the monopoly on the glory of a good steal. Since the Burning Crusade, we mages have been given a gift of thievery that is not only powerful but is also a total blast to use. Spellsteal is a level 68 trained spell that lets us yoink the beneficial debuff off of our enemy and take it for our own. Are you feeling a little lonely in your travels, my dear mage? Find yourself a shaman or a Storming Wind-Ripper and steal away his Lightning Shield for some spinny, sparky company. Or maybe you want an extra +295 spell damage during your Botanica run? Grab that Holy Fury off of a Bloodwarder Mender and go to town! There's lots of potential for fun and fury in this spell, so keep it nearby to play with.

  6. ImpScorch
    Improved Scorch - Down on the fourth tier of the Fire talent tree is a lovely little gem that has the potential to bring some great benefits to both you and your group, depending on who Mr. Party Leader has brought to play, today. Improved Scorch is a 15-point mage talent that adds a pretty little debuff to the target of your Scorch spell. It makes the enemy mob 3% more vulnerable to fire damage - any fire damage. The warlocks, shamans and other fire mages are cackling in malicious glee, right now, since they all have abilities that can leach off this debuff and bring some extra hurtin' capability to your party. Share the destructive wealth, I say!

  7. Winter’s Chill - All right. I admit it. This one's stretching it just a bit, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due... even if it's very situational credit. Winter's Chill is a talent that comes from pretty deep (25 points) in the Frost tree. It's tough to reach and has limited utility on short fights, but if the group we're trying to get into is a raid going against the bigger boys, this particular talent might just blow them all away. Like Improved Scorch, this guy is a stacking debuff that the mob gains, this time from any of our frost damage spells. It stacks up to 5 times, giving a possible 10% increased crit rate from frost spells. Once again, any Frost spells. Unfortunately, the only people who really do frost damage on a regular basis++ are... well... us. Mages. Still, if we're in a raid with 3 of our Frosty, magey peers, it's a great talent to bring to the group, busting out an extra 10% crit for all of us! Our tank won't know what hit him, boys and girls. ... maybe because it never reaches him.
Okay. There you have it. I now pronounce you educated and graduated from the School of Boom. If this doesn't convince Mr. Party Leader that you should be the one he invites, then I'm afraid there's just no hope for him at all. Let him and his silly little group go slog through their task the hard way. There are plenty of smart people out there that will recognize that you're way more than just a dress-wearing squishy with a fireball in your hand.

* Druids are the other class.
** -50 DKP for that stupid spell name, Blizzmonster. -_-
*** ... Even though our AOE spells are our least mana efficient type.
+ Dear Blizzmonster, thank you very much for giving us all Ice Block. Our repair bills love you forevah!
++ I'm sort of discounting Frost Shock from Shamans, here, because my limited understanding of the shamanic ways leads me to believe that it's hardly ever applied in a raiding situation. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.


Bell said...

Wow, I never knew that about Gruul! That's intensely helpful :D

Now, my guild just has to get there...

AC Bamblett said...

Hi, Bell. Actually, I didn't even mention the best part about the Gruul's Lair for a mage. When you fight High King Maulgar and his Council, a mage will get the opportunity to play tank on the 'ogre mage' add in the council. It's a fun opportunity to use Spellsteal. Take a look at the WoWWiki entry for Krosh Firehand for more details. :)

You'll get there! Best of luck.


TeePee said...

pansy goth EMO mages thank you very much... yeh! and "of Doom"!

*grumbles something about no one understanding*

Rhoelyn said...

Heheh. Now, to be really appropriate, you should have signed off that comment with a tried-and-true...


Love to hate,

Kellie said...

I will blame you, Rhoe, for my new baby mage. ;P

Rhoelyn said...

Oh, hey. I think you used the wrong word there. By 'blame' you meant 'thank', right? ;)

Anonymous said...

Although Shamans are currently the only other class to use Frost spells (albeit limited), you forget about an expansion just around the "corner", Wrath of the Lich King. Our new class, the Death Knight, will in fact have Frost as their ranged DPS/CCing/whatever Blizzard plans to use them as. Makes Winter's Chill a bit more viable in group/raids.