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World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Mage Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

So...a patch happened or something? I guess it's a big deal. People are excited or whatever. I'm way too cool to show any kind of positive emotion, so...meh. Meh, I say.

Ok, I can't keep that up. Patches always make me happy. I've been known to break into song and engage in impromptu yet highly choreographed dance routines on patch days. This time around it was a little number called "Living Bomb is Castable on Multiple Targets Now...Yay!" The lyrics are actually quite clever. They go like this: "Living Bomb is castable on multiple targets now...yay!" repeated several times, and sung to the tune of whatever Wiggles song my kids happen to be listening to in the background at the time. Or sometimes to the Knight Rider theme. Don't ask me why. I'm a musical genius and I don't have to explain myself to you.

Anyway, let's take a quick look at the ways this patch will be affecting Mages. Here's a five-word preview:
  • Living
  • Bomb
  • Multiple
  • Targets
  • Yay


I've already spoke about patch 3.2 for Mages a couple of times:
So feel free to peruse those columns if you're stuck waiting for the patch to download or can't log in or something. Then read on for a handy overview.

General

One general change we'll all be feeling, along with every other mana-using class, is the Replenishment nerf/mp5 buff. Overall, we'll be losing mana, and though the loss isn't steep, trust me when I tell you that you'll notice. You can find the details here.

Now let's take a quick look at each tree.

Arcane
  • Arcane Blast: Mana cost reduced by 12%.
  • Invisibility: Can no longer be interrupted by a hostile action or damage done during the 3 second fade time, however an invisible mage can still be stunned or silenced.
  • Mirror Image: Images will no longer trigger the death sound when their time expires.
Not much here, really. The major change is the Invisibility one. I think we can all agree we're looking forward to not having our escape mechanism/aggro-dump interrupted by a stray AoE before it's done us any good. The Arcane Blast mana cost reduction is a pretty clear make-up call to help the replenishment nerf sting a bit less, and the Mirror Image change will be a pleasant cosmetic change.

Fire
  • Empowered Fire: In addition to its existing effects, this talent now also grants a 33/67/100% chance to regain 2% of base mana each time the Ignite talent deals damage.
  • Molten Armor: Damage reduced to 75/130 for Rank 1 & 2, Rank 3 remains at 170
  • Hot Streak: Now procs any time you score 2 non-periodic spell crits.
  • Burnout: now increases the spell's cost on non-periodic spell criticals instead of all criticals.
  • Living Bomb can now be used on multiple targets at the same time.
These are mostly minor changes (Empowered Fire is another concession to the Replenishment nerf), with one notable exception. Look closely, you'll see it. I wrote a song about it. Did I mention that already? Also a column, during which I pretty much made out with Blizzard for about a thousand words or so. Anyway, AoE is going to be super-fun for Fire Mages now. Don't believe me? Hop into the queue for the next Wintergrasp (even in its new, less-crowded version), then go hang out in the courtyard and throw one up on every siege vehicle clumped up against the wall there. Then run in and throw out an assortment of Blast Waves, Flamestrikes, and Dragon's Breaths, and just sit back and enjoy the fireworks. It's like Christmas for pyromanics. Or the 4th of July for normal people. Man. I like fire. I should probably go see a doctor or something.

Frost

  • Ice Barrier mana cost has been reduced from 25% of base mana to 21% of base mana.
  • Cone of Cold mana cost has been reduced from 29% of base mana to 25% of base mana.
  • Frost Ward mana cost has been reduced from 16% of base mana to 14% of base mana.
  • Frostbolt mana cost has been reduced from 13% of base mana to 11% of base mana.
  • Ice Armor mana cost has been reduced from 28% of base mana to 24% of base mana.
  • Ice Lance mana cost has been reduced from 7% of base mana to 6% of base mana.
  • Frost Nova mana cost has been reduced from 8% of base mana to 7% of base mana.
  • Empowered Frostbolt now reduces the cast time of your Frostbolt by 0.1/0.2sec instead of increasing its critical strike chance by 2/4%.
  • Permafrost: In addition to its existing effects, this talent now also causes the mage's Chill effects to reduce healing received by the victim by 7/13/20%.
  • Enduring Winter now cannot occur more often than once every 6 sec.
So, yeah, pretty much every spell we use in the Frost tree is getting cheaper. Not by enough to make up for the Replenishment nerf, mind you, but still. The change to Permafrost amounts to giving Frost Mages a watered-down Mortal Strike-alike ability, which should be useful.

Overall, none of these changes are particularly game-changing, although several of them are undeniably cool. We probably aren't going to be seeing any major shifts in the popular talent builds we're used to. We did manage to avoid any major class-specific nerfs, though, and that's always nice to hear on patch day.

New gear

The major addition, content-wise, in patch 3.2 is definitely the Crusader's Coliseum. A week ago, I extolled the virtues of the new 5-man instance and all of its shiny Naxx-level epics, but we're also getting a new raid, complete with 10 and 25 man versions, with a normal and hard-mode for each. That's a lot of loot.

Perhaps the biggest news for Mages as far as loot goes is the advent of tier 9 gear. The new bonuses are as follows:
  • 2-piece: Increases the armor you gain from Ice Armor by 20%, the mana regeneration you gain from Mage Armor by 10%, and converts and additional 15% of your spirit into critical strike rating while Molten Armor is active.
  • 4-piece: Increases the critical strike chance of your Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Blast spells by 5%.
Underwhelming to say the least. Magetable's blog has a nice writeup of this from a couple weeks back, and I have to say I agree with pretty much everything he says. Both of these are straightforward bonuses, but neither seems quite significant enough to warrant being the current ultimate set-bonuses in the game for Mages. And even if they were bigger, neither is particularly exciting. Tier 9, everybody!

All in all, I have to say I'm pretty stoked about this patch. Mages aren't getting any kind of huge facelift, but we do get a whole new battleground in which to set Warlocks on fire, and a couple of new dungeons to blow apart. New pets, new mounts, new levels at which to use those mounts, new interface options...mmmmm. I feel a musical interlude coming on, the Wiggles are singing "Hot Potato," on the TV behind me, and if you'll excuse me, I have to go over the choreography with my 2-year-old.


WoW's Patch 3.2 ushers in the Crusaders' Coliseum, the Isle of Conquest, flying mounts at 60, and much more. WoW.com has all the patch information your Worgen obsessed mind can handle in WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2!

Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, Talents

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