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Mages - How To Do It... (1.6)

By: Lyrissa

I've seen a boatload of (thankfully nonguild) mages put out ridiculously poor numbers for heals, for single target dps, or for AoE dps. I've been doing good damage, good heals, and good support for quite a while, occasionally "out dpsing" higher geared mages with similar builds, because I know my rotations & research my specs. Since I've seen a few family members asking for assistance on specs, I'm going to post up a guide here. :)

I'll note a few things first.

Get used to changing specs. There is NO one single perfect spec for damage, support, or heals. I flip specs between 10 and 30 times an instance, if nothing goes wrong, and more than that if things do go wrong.

Make sure you ALWAYS have drink, don't count on a healer to heal you after a death or a bunch of Sacrifice Life: Mana. All of these builds bar one are ridiculously easy to stay well above needed mana bar the Pyro/SC mixed build... but if you get to 1% mana, none of them are easy to get a LOT of mana back instantaneously bar the chloro builds, you have to actively keep your mana up via abilities.

You'll notice that I have Archon in a LOT of these builds. Pillaging Stone and Searing Vitality are your friend. If you need transmogrify, the 0 archon can be swapped easily for Dominator anytime you're not in combat.

Tinker! Experiment! fail! You won't be amazing at any of these builds the first time you try them. It's taken me ages to be 'good' at them, and I'm only good, not amazing.

I'll add more to this guide as I find it. =)

First: AoE dps.

Stormcaller / Elementalist

This build focuses around the buffs that SC provides to AoE. It is viable for 100% uptime in Kyllin-Style-mad-fast-pull-T2s with ridiculously good AoE damage. I have literally spiked 20k dps (Rshiel & Kyllin witnessed). Normal AoE damage hits in the 4-6k range for the whole fight, sometimes a touch higher.

Have the Greater Air Elemental up with Synergize running, his buff to you helps your dps in two different ways.

Drop Hailstorm, immediately drop Lightning Storm and let it finish, tag Lightning Field on a mob. Cast forked lightning on a mob till 3x Electric Charge, Lightning Field, rinse repeat. It's *very* easy.

IF you really need to go nuts on damage, pop Intensify Elements & Static Discharge right before Lightning storm, and continue as normal. For bonus points, make sure your charge is at 100%, and pop Static Flux at the same time.

Archon is there for the Pillaging Stone and Searing Vitality buffs.

The "good" single target dps is difficult to maintain if you're not paying attention, and the rotation isn't easy, and I'd recommend other builds for single target damage (like a boss for example), but if you're caught in the build for a boss you need to know how.

Open with Raging Storm, once it finishes cast Icicle, Exposure, Ice Shear, and then spam Cloudburst until your Electric Charge on the boss is down to about 4 seconds, then cast Thunderbolt, Icicle, Ice Shear, and Cloudburst until your Electric Chrage is down to about 4 seconds. Repeat as necessary, tossing exposure if it falls off.

If you have a DPS cleric who knows their business and is dropping Spiritual Deficiency, skip exposure, as it doesn't stack, does the same thing, and SD lasts a minute to Exposure's 30 seconds.

Second: Best Single Target DPS

"Pyrolockon" Credit for this goes to Pyrefly, who I think got it from Bluedot. Don't know, don't care. I'm able to sustain 13-1600 dps on a boss, buffed, single target, and have yet to run out of mana.

Key abilities here are your standard pyromancer bread'n'butter. Fireball, Flame Bolt, Countdown, Cinderbust, Inferno.

A lot of this build counts on Opportunity procs and knowing how to use them.

This whole build is based around 'priority.'

First: Flame Bolt if you don't have the spell power buff that it provides.
Second: Countdown if it's up, and the target has more than 10 seconds to live.
Third: Cinderburst if it's proc'd from Pyromancer's Armor.
Fourth: Fireball if those are not ready (or not proc'd in the case of CB)
Fifth: Leeching Flames if you're below 80% mana and it's up.
Sixth: Pillaging stone to refresh your buff, searing vitality to refresh your buff.
Seventh: Inferno if the mob is below 30% and it's not on CD.

You can do mediocre (read ~2000-2500 dps) AoE via Fire Storm, and it's a huge help on bosses like the Spider in DD that spawns a boatload of adds, but is not the focus of this build.

You will have to judge the priority, too, because there are times that it's better to pop all your instant casts as you need to move instead of sticking with the priority, for example. You'll get used to it.

Third: Best AoE ST mix

Pyrocaller

This is one I've been tinkering with for a while. It's not quite as powerful for AoE as the SC/Ele, and not quite as good at ST as the Pyrolockon, but offers versatility that the other two don't offer. This one is NOT for the faint of heart, because it requires a boatload of attention to buffs & debuffs. The Pyro is there almost entirely for Spark, the GCD reduction bonus, and the occasional rare cinderburst.

The rotation for AoE is the same as SC/Ele, and the rotation for ST is the same as SC/Ele, but with the following changes.

You give up Intensify Elements, you give up the extra fire-power that Pyrolockon offers for fire spells specifically, but you gain a boatload of mobility. I can push 11-1300 on this build (compared to Pyrolockon at 12-1600) single target, and can push 'around' 3-6k AoE dps, depending. This build EATS mana for breakfast, second breakfast, pre-lunch-snack, lunch, afternoon snack, afternoon tea, pre-dinner snack, dinner, afterdinner dessert, late night snack, and wakeupat3ams snack... but at the same time provides HUGE mobility that the Pyrolockon just doesn't due to fireball casting.

Done right, you have *one* spell to stand and cast every 13 to 14 seconds, and the rest are instant cast.

Start with either Raging Storm or 3x Thunderbolt, icicle, ice shear, flame burst (for the sp buff), cloudburst fill until Electric Charge is down to 3-4 seconds, and then go into the standard rotation:

Thunderbolt, as your only stand and cast.
Icicle, Ice Shear, Flame Burst, cloudburst a few times
Rinse and repeat ad nauseaum.

I'm also going to touch on three support builds, for very different situations. First, Chloromancer. You need it, get over it. There are times that a chloro is simply *needed* and if you don't have a decent build and know how to use it, you're hurting the group or raid.

Main Chloromancer

I've been running this build for ages. Able to heal even some of the worst of tanks through instances, and support the worst of healers for ridiculous AoE heals, this is the bread'n'butter of my healing.

If you're group healing/raid healing, make sure that Lifegiving Veil is up, along with Living Energy.

If you're main tank healing, make sure that Synthesis is on the tank *AND* that Lifebound Veil is up, along with Living Energy.

It is NOT just "Void Life" spam. Sure, Void Life is your go to spell, but if you don't know your other spells you're not going to be a good healer.

Anytime you don't have something ELSE to do, spam void life. It's decent damage for chloro, and great heals for the group/raid/tank.

If someone takes a hit at a bad time that's not the tank, Bloom is your friend. Anytime the group takes a hit, Flourish is your friend. They're both on cooldowns, so time them appropriately.

If there are a bunch of mobs, drop a radiant spores, it'll keep your AoE dps topped off with very little effort on your part.

If you need to MOVE, Radiant Spores & Ruin in sequence give you a solid 3 seconds of movement, Bloom, Flourish, and Essence Surge can give you more but it's usually better to save them, and an 'opportunity' proc can give you extra time to move as well.

Nature's Touch followed immediately by Sacrifice Life: Mana gives you a good 15% of your mana back with an almost instant heal for the damage it causes.

Opportunity procs are useful for Nature's Touch or Nature's Fury (for AoE), or even a Pillaging stone to refresh your stack.

For AoE that you're careful with, get 'into' the mobs, or close to them, and tap Corrosion, it's a lot of AoE healing, and free damage.

If your tank, or main healer, or whatever, takes a HUGE hit and you're scared they'll die, Essence Surge (2min) will heal them for 100% of your max health.

Searing Vitality & Pillaging stone should be kept up, but you'll have to time Pillaging Stone carefully, as an 1100 damage hit will heal the group for something like 37, aka nada.

For AoE where the mobs stay grouped, Natural Splendor is a huge boon if you have >60 charge, just don't stop casting it early as it goes on cooldown whether you get 8 seconds or 1 out of it.

Wild Growth is another situational one, free healing that consumes charge. 1.5 second cast and heals over 12 seconds.

Entropic Veil will give you a touch more healing out of anything you do, and consumes charge (it works just like Static Flux or Internalize Charge).

Living Shell will give you mana in a pinch, 60% total over 30 seconds, as well as being an emergency damage shield for you.

Natural Conversion is a lovely spell to place on an enemy to heal the tank, but works weird. IF (and only if) the person targeted can SURVIVE the spell, it will heal them 200%, i.e. 100% to cover what they lost, and 100% to heal them. It will NOT save a tank from death for say, Ice Shards that hit for 40k... but a cinderburst that hits for 4k can heal the tank for 4k on an instant cast.

Alternative Chloro:

Chloro/Dom/Archon

This build works exactly the same as Chloro/Lock with two minor differences as far as what you do.

There's a spare point to be placed. Priest's Lament is an option, as is Quick Thinking if you're using Transmogrify a lot, or even Improved Charged Shield or Clinging Form... There's not really a perfect place for it, to be honest, even Arresting Presence is situational, but this entire build is built around the needed situation of having to have reflective command.

First, you get this lovely amazing ability called Reflective Command. Useful for the "Death Blast" on the mage boss in DSM, and for "Fist of Laethys" that Uruluuk casts in Guilded Prophecy, this is a buff that lasts 10 seconds on a friendly target that will reflect any SPELL back onto the caster.

[[For Uruluuk, this amounts to roughly 15-30% of his health that the raid doesn't have to deal with if you're paying attention, as each time it's reflected it takes off 2% of his health, and since he has 1,600,000 health, that means it hits him for around 32,000 damage instantaneously. You've GOT to be on the ball, of course, as it'll kill anyone it hits.]]

Second, Defy. This clears all debuffs from a friendly target, good for those 12 mob AoE pulls that all have a poison debuff to help kill your tank faster. It's on a cooldown, but is a useful spell none the less.

Last but not least: Archon.

Archon/Lock/Dom

If you're not going 51 points into archon, don't go into it more than a few points to begin with, as if you don't have Burning Purpose, you're not providing what you should.

The 15 points in warlock is one option, for the charge, opportunity, and extra vitality that gets shared.

Alternatively you could go 15 points into Dominator for the Int buff, reflective command, Defy, and Memory wipe. 99% of what you'll do in this build is Archon, so it's semi-moot.

Keep your 5 minute buffs up: Shared Vigor, Tempered Armor, Vitality of Stone, Arcane Aegis, and Burning Purpose. They remove things from you and benefit the entire raid.

For any given mob, your first duty is Debuffs. Ashen Defense, Crumbling Resistance, Lingering Dust, Pillaging Stone, and Searing Vitality.

Once those are up, you have a few spells you can cycle between as their cooldowns allow. Illuminate is instant cast and makes everyone deal additional damage once every 3 seconds for free. Volcanic Bomb increases everyone's damage for 10 seconds. Earthen Barrage increases everyone's crit for 10 seconds. Rock Slide will, with full charge, provide you with another 40 int or so, and lasts for five minutes.

PLEASE do not attempt to Archon in a serious raid until you've sat in front of the dummies and figured out a rotation enough that you're comfortable.



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