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Patch 3.3 PTR: Mages get simplified Scorch, Frost changes

Fire mages are ablaze with joy over today's patch 3.3 PTR build, frost mages are a little iffy, and arcane is... pretty much completely untouched! Let's skip over any additional preamble and dig right in. Do note, however, that some of this is so far unconfirmed and comes from datamining. Considering these changes come from the PTR, any of it could change before patch 3.3 goes live.

Fire
  • Improved Scorch: The debuff from this talent no longer stacks, and instead can apply the full effect from a single cast of Scorch.
  • Glyph of Improved Scorch now increases the damage of your Scorch spell by 20%.
This is going to make a lot of raiding mages very happy. It essentially normalizes the debuff to match equivalent debuffs, like Improved Shadow Bolt. Streamlining an unnecessarily complicated debuff is a great thing. It'll lift a needless burden from mage DPS. And yes, there are mages getting drunk in celebration this evening. It's somewhat disturbing, really.
Frost
  • Frozen Core now also causes your Ice Lance criticals to reduce the cast time of your next Frostbolt or Frostfire Bolt by 0.4/0.7/1 sec.
  • Glyph of Eternal Water - Your Summon Water Elemental now lasts indefinitely, but your Water Elemental can no longer cast Freeze.
Oh ho! What is this? Could it be an attempt at making frost raid viable? It's a pretty good move, too. The increased damage comes from having your pet with you nuking away at all times, rather than straight increasing the power of the mage's own nukes. The concern was always that if you pump up the frost mage, you make them even more dangerous in PvP, which is hardly something they need. PvP frost mages wouldn't want to lose the Water Elemental's root, so you won't need to worry about this in the arena. It should work out pretty well. Assuming, of course, the Water Elemental and the frost mage get all the tools necessary to keep the thing alive in a raid.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Mage, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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