Each week, Arcane Brilliance comes down the chimney with a sack-full of Mage. We Blink into your living room, conjure our own milk and cookies, set fire to the tree, and turn the family cat into a sheep. Then laying a finger aside of our nose, we turn invisible and walk out the front door, because that's how we roll.
In case your recurring stress dreams aren't enough of a reminder, let me throw it out there that you have less than a week to do your Christmas shopping. Seriously, you probably ought to just go now, bring a cattle prod, a ballistics vest, and possibly a taser, head to the mall, and let the carnage begin. If you get in line now, you might be able to check out by Thursday.
The good news is that if you're shopping for a Mage, your job isn't quite so difficult, and not nearly as perilous. Mages aren't picky about gifts. If it has spellpower on it, chances are we'll love it. We tend to like big sticks and fancy dresses, and Gnomish Warlocks always make great stocking stuffers.
Follow me after the break, and I'll give you my short-list of great things to get for the Mage in your life this holiday season.
Is your Mage still working their way to level 80? If so, this is an easy choice. Once your Mage has reached level 75, you can take them to Zul'drak and head directly for the Amphitheater of Anguish. This is the Northrend equivalent of Nagrand's Ring of Blood questline, in that it's a series of 5-man boss fights that grants a ridiculous amount of gold, potions, and experience, and ends with a pretty fantastic selection of blue weaponry as a final reward. The Mage choice is the Chilly Slobberknocker, and it it's a great gift for any mid-level spell-slinger on your list. This will be an instant upgrade for almost any Mage at the level, and there isn't a valid replacement until you begin to get access to level 80 instance drops.
The questline is actually easier than its Burning Crusade counterpart, the bosses look fantastic, and in the final fight, somebody gets to ride a freaking mammoth. So round up a few other friends, grab any mid-level Mages on your list, and take them on a field-trip to Zul'drak.
Spire of Sunset
Now, if the Mage in your life is beyond the point in the game at which they would want the Chilly Slobberknocker, you might want to think about getting them this staff. It's probably the best DPS-caster staff in the game at the moment, and it looks really, really sexy. It drops off of Thaddius in the Abomination Wing of Naxx (the 25-man verison), at a rate of about 8%, which makes it significantly easier to obtain than whatever version of Elmo happens to be popular this year at Walmart.
Flameheart Spell Scalpel
Is your Mage more into glowy, stabby slicing instruments than big clunky sticks? If so, you could do a lot worse than getting them this wonderful little dagger. Now, you may be asking yourself how you can give your Mage a gift that happens to be bind-on-pickup and only purchasable after a long reputation grind with the Kirin Tor. The answer, of course, is meat. Give them meat, lots of it. They can then use this meat (the Chilled variety comes in especially handy) to complete the daily cooking quest in Dalaran, raising their reputation. Also, gather up some companions and take your Mage on lots and lots of instance runs, making sure they put on their Tabard first. Though you can't directly purchase this beauty for the Mage you love, you can do quite a bit to help them obtain it.
Of course, you can't get a Mage a dagger without picking them up a nice off-hand frill to match. There are some really good ones out there in Wrath, but most of them require chancing drop-rates in raids or 5-man instances, and then chancing losing the roll to another caster class. Nothing ruins Christmas for a Mage faster than losing the roll on a sweet off-hand to a Warlock. Nothing. This fantastic piece comes at the end of a fairly long questline that begins in Icecrown and ends with a 5-man quest in that same zone. Gather up some buddies and treat your Mage to a nice off-hand item.
If your Mage is preparing to head into Naxxramas, this is a great robe to give him/her. It isn't cheap, though. Tailors will tell you that Imbued Frostweave and Ebonweave aren't easy to come by, especially in the quantities this recipe requires. So save your pennies, gather the mats, find a willing Tailor (your Mage might even be one!) and make a pretty dress for the Mage on your list. We do love our dresses, especially the ones that are all dark and emo, and make us look like Billy Corgan. Also, unlike the other high-end Tailoring robes, this one doesn't waste stats on spirit or mp5.
Now that we've gone from being the punching bags of Burning Crusade PvP to being relatively fearsome in Wrath, you might find that the Mage you're shopping for has developed some affinity for killing opposing players. This expansion has made it far easier to bridge the gear-gap when jumping into end-game PvP than it ever was before, and craftable sets like this one are just a few of the reasons why. This entire set is relatively easy to make, with mats that can be costly but aren't especially hard to come by, and it makes for a pretty nice entry-level set of PvP gear. A Mage can definitely step into a season 5 Arena wearing this stuff and not get laughed out of the place. Plus, it's a good-looking set.
To make the entire 8-piece set, you'll need the following mats:
405 Frostweave Cloth
54 Infinite Dust
33 Crystallized Earth
33 Crystallized Fire
16 Eternium Thread
1 patient Tailor.
On my server, that would be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300 gold, total, for the mats. That may seem like a lot, but think of all the times your Mage has conjured food and beverages for you out of thin air, or cast a spell on you to make you smarter, or turned the giant mob that was chewing on your face into a sheep, or teleported you out of the boss room of some crazy dungeon, or Ice Blocked after pulling aggro, skipping said aggro over to you and getting you killed...wait, scratch that. Concentrate on the magical food tables. That was tasty, stuff, right?
Titanium Spellshock Ring
Are you a Jewelcrafter? If so, you can give your Mage what is probably the best caster ring available prior to Naxx. Again, the mats are pricey and will take a long time to farm. I still say your Mage is worth it. I am, admittedly, biased...but then again, you are reading a Mage column, written by a Mage. I'm sure the list would look different if it was written by a Rogue or a Warlock or something. They tend to like to give us things like daggers in our backs, or deadly curses floating above our heads. Neither of those things makes a particularly good gift for a Mage, let me assure you.
- Stocking Stuffers:
Any Mage will tell you that the best gift is the one that keeps on giving persists through death. Also, nothing gets me into the holiday spirit like 125 extra spellpower.
Elixir of Accuracy
For those of us who are still working on reaching the hit cap, these are wonderful.
Firecracker Salmon, Tender Shoveltusk Steak
These are by no means all of the wonderful things out there that you can either give your favorite Mage or help them to obtain. I'm just trying to help you get started with your shopping. Fellow Mages, what else is on your wish-list? And no, we can't have Titan's Grip.
Every week Arcane Brilliance teleports you inside the wonderful world of Mages and then hurls a Fireball in your face. Check out our recent two-part look at reputation rewards in WotLK, or our guide to leveling builds to get you through Northrend. Until next week, keep the Mage-train a-rollin'.