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Filed under: Build Shop

Build Shop: Mage 10/47/3

Welcome back to Build Shop! After a two week hiatus to spend time with my family over the holidays, I'm back and ready to get down to some good old fashioned discussion about builds. This week we're discussing a Mage build, something that hasn't been done in a long, long time. For awhile now, Fire has been the tree of choice for the raiding mage (though some vets will remember fire-unfriendly MC and BWL). Although Fire isn't the only spec for raiding, it is the build I'm examining today.

So what makes Fire so great? Well, this build picks up all the damage-increasing talents in the Fire tree, some goodies from the Arcane tree, and even gives you a free point to put wherever you want. Hey, no one can say I'm not generous. Alright, so actually I'm not generous, there just seems to be no general consensus on where to put it, so I'm leaving it up to you. Without further ado, let's jump right in and take a look at what makes this build tick.

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Filed under: Mage, Build Shop

Build Shop: Warrior 8/5/48

Hey folks! This week on Build Shop I'm examining another Warrior build, but this time it's not about dealing damage with the spec -- it's about taking damage. That's right, it's time for a Protection Warrior build! This one is focused on raid tanking, and maximizing your damage reduction. It's not the most rage-efficient Protection spec out there, but 8/5/48 (and its variants) seems to be pretty popular these days. This build does skip some of the talents that make grinding and solo play easier, so I wouldn't use this one for anything but main tanking a raid instance.

With that said, let's take a look under the hood and check out what makes this build so great at damage reduction and threat generation.

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Filed under: Warrior, Build Shop

Build Shop: Warlock 43/0/18

Welcome back to another edition of Build Shop, talent fans! I've gotten a couple of emails about Warlock builds, so this week I'm going to take a look at one of the most infamous builds around -- Affliction. When people complain about Warlock DoTs, they've often just had a run in with an Affliction spec Warlock. Boasting up to 5 DoTs (Corruption / Seed of Corruption, Immolate, Curse of Agony, Siphon Life, Unstable Affliction) and a bevy of channeled drain spells, one of these warlocks can make quick work of your health bar. In addition, Affliction warlocks also sport talents that make their DoTs harder to dispel or make you think twice about trying to dispel them.

Amongst warlocks, it's a popular grinding build, able to handle multiple mobs at a time with very little downtime. Though it lacks the higher health pool and greater survivability associated with Demonology warlocks, or the pure nuking power of a Destruction warlock, Affliction is a build which performs well in many areas of the game. Let's take a look at an Affliction / Destruction build that incorporates threat reduction, DoT protection, and maximizes the damage done by DoTs.

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Filed under: Warlock, Build Shop

Build Shop: Hunter 41/20/0

Hello talent fans, both new and old, and welcome to another Tuesday edition of Build Shop! It's been awhile since this column examined a Hunter build (a heavy Survival build way back in June), and I think it's high time we changed that. When it comes to grinding, farming, or straight up sustained DPS, there's arguably no better build for a Hunter than Beast Mastery.

If you're new to the Hunter class, at first glance there doesn't seem to be much in the Beast Mastery tree that looks appealing. A lot of the talents in the tree seem to affect your pet more than you... and for the most part, this is true. BM hunters sacrifice increasing their personal DPS in order to buff their pet's. As such, pet choice matters a little more than it does for Marksman or Survival hunters. But it's not all about the pet -- there are some significant buffs to the Hunter (and the Hunter's party) further down in the tree. Read on, and take a closer look at a standard Beast Mastery build.

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Filed under: Hunter, Build Shop

Build Shop: Druid 43/0/18

Welcome back Build Shop fans! It's been awhile since this column examined a Druid build, so this week I'm examining a fun (if unconventional) build -- Moonkin! Ever since Moonkin form was introduced way back when, it's gone by many names: Boomkin, OOMkin... well, you get the point. While you certainly see many more Feral and Restoration druids these days, there are a couple of nice things that a Moonkin brings to a party or raid.

Itemization is still far from perfect for Balance druids (the proper name for a build which incorporates Moonkin form), as leather armor with caster stats is still pretty rare, but it's much better than it used to be. As such, more and more druids these days seem to be giving Balance a try! Let's take a look at an average PvE build, and see what advantages your group will get from bringing a Moonkin along.

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Filed under: Druid, Build Shop

Build Shop: Rogue 41/20/0

It's Tuesday, which means that talent junkies everywhere get their fix (well, part of it, anyway) -- welcome to Build Shop! Last time we talked rogues in this column it was all about the Subtlety tree. Well, this time we're going into a heavy Assassination / Combat build, known to some as "Combat Mutilate."

Unlike builds that incorporate talents from the Subtlety tree to go along with Mutilate, this build is aimed at rogues who want a competitive PvE build that doesn't suck the fun (and the life) out of you like some other PvE-centric builds.

Since Mutilate is an attack that must be made from behind, like Backstab or Ambush, it has a positional requirement. And yes, for it to do the maximum amount of damage, your target must be poisoned. And yes, there are several other things you can do if you want to buff up your damage even further. It's the price you pay for a build that's fun to play, with quick combo point generation and the potential for a lot of damage.

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Filed under: Rogue, Build Shop

Build Shop: Warrior 41/20/0

Welcome back to Build Shop! This time we're checking out an Arms Warrior Poleaxe build (41/20/0), and what a good time to do it, thanks to the newly implemented changes to the talent trees in patch 2.3. The Arms tree for warriors has a long and illustrious PvP history, and it's just gotten even stronger. Moving Death Wish out of the Fury tree clears Warriors up to go deeper into Arms to pick up those last few talents and is a very welcome change for me.

This is an Arms build mostly focusing on PvP using a Polearm or Axe, but shift those 5 specialization points around depending on what weapon you're using.

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Filed under: Warrior, Build Shop

Build Shop: Rogue 16/3/42

Welcome to another edition of Build Shop! This week, we're going to examine a Rogue build (something that hasn't been done since this column began way back when). Subtlety has long been labeled as a Rogue's "utility" tree, but there are so many goodies in there... talents that buff your attack power, your agility, improvements to stealth -- the list just goes on.

Patch 2.3 is bringing lots of changes to the Subtlety tree, so it's as good a time as any to examine a build I can't wait to try out!

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Filed under: Rogue, Build Shop

Build Shop: Priest 41/20/0

It's Tuesday again -- and you know what that means. It's time for your weekly dose of talent spec dissecetion with Build Shop! This week we're checking out another Priest build, this one focusing on the much maligned Discipline tree. Though the tree is still an odd assortment of talents (some mana management, some damage improvement, some buffs for our buffs...) with no easy path to the top, it's slated for major improvements in the next expansion and is getting a bit of love in the upcoming patch 2.3. With the 41-point talent, Pain Suppresion, being re-envisioned for patch 2.3, I'm thinking Discipline may be worth a whirl for a healing Priest. And, hey, even if things don't work out, it can't be as bad as Lightwell.

Will Discipline really be a viable alternative build in 2.3? Read on for my thoughts.

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Filed under: Priest, Build Shop

Build Shop: Shaman 15/5/41

Eliah is away from the Build Shop this week, so I'm taking his place, and I figured what better time to look at a great Resto Shaman build-- mine. Sure, some of you talent pros will probably tear it apart (it's a little less than conventional), but for my preferences and my playstyle, this build works pretty darn well.

So let's start by telling you how I play my Shaman. Clearly, I'm not an Enhancement Shammy-- while I leveled as one, I decided right when I hit 60 (and yeah, I leveled to 70 with this build, too) that I wanted this character to be a raider. I was just getting in good with a great guild, I loved being a great healer (keeping a group up even in dire straits is fun for me), and I knew that healers would always be in demand, letting me run lots of groups.

On the other hand, however, I didn't just want to be a healbot. I wanted to have the opportunity, when I was able, to crank out some DPS.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Build Shop

Build Shop: Priest 14/0/47 (interview with Skosiris)

Welcome, talent fans! This time we're going to try something a little different with Build Shop: an interview. We've got Wowhead co-founder and primary website developer Skosiris to talk a bit about his priest build, so check it out and let me know what you think of the format. For the uninitiated, Wowhead is an excellent WoW database site for looking up information on equipment, mobs, quests, spells, etc. I recently started playing Dungeon Runners, and Wowhead is possibly what I miss most about WoW. It's that good.

Skosiris is getting his Shadow on with this solo/5-man oriented spec. He's a relatively casual player, having never raided, and doesn't have time to play tons. I like the build well for its intended purpose.

Eliah Hecht, WoW Insider: Hey, want to talk about your build?

Skosiris of Wowhead: Sure thing. It's been a little while since I last played my priest, but this should be fun.

Likewise. So, do you have a link for the build?

14/0/47, Amory profile here

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Filed under: Priest, Fan stuff, Talents, Build Shop

Build Shop: Warlock ??/41+/??

This will be a somewhat unusual (and self-serving) Build Shop. You see, I have a Warlock alt, rolled one day when I was bored at level 60 with my priest, trying to get my Devout gloves. The warlock has always been either Affliction or Demonic Sacrifice-based, but I'd like to try out the Felguard for leveling purposes (currently, I'm at level 55). The question is, what Felguard spec should I use?

From my research in the official forums and a few other places, and from playing around with the talent calculator, here's the best I've been able to come up with: 15/46/0 or 5/46/10. Fairly similar, as you can see. However, I'm somewhat uncomfortable with both builds; essentially, few of the points that aren't in Demonology really satisfy me.

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Filed under: Warlock, Features, Leveling, Talents, Build Shop

Build Shop: Priest 23/38/0

Consider this the beginning of Season 2 of Build Shop. I've given each class a turn (for real this time), and now I'm going to kick things off with another build of my own, this one on my main. Priest is the first class I got to 60, and the first class I got to 70. Although I leveled to 55 or so as Shadow, healing is really what I love on my priest, and I've been various kinds of Holy since then.

My current build isn't really original; in fact, it's probably the most common PvE healing build for priests right now: 23/38/0. Take Discipline down to Improved Divine Spirit, and Holy down to 3/5 Empowered Healing (skipping Lightwell and Circle of Healing, in my version). The main alternative builds would probably be 21/40/0 or 20/41/0, and there may not be a clear-cut "best" build out of the three.

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Filed under: Priest, Features, Raiding, Talents, Build Shop

Build Shop: Hunter 5/13/43

Welcome back to Build Shop! A short break was taken due to some technical difficulties, but here I am once again. And although I had previously claimed to have covered every class, it appears that I was mistaken: I missed Hunter! Therefore, as a thank you to the person who brought this to my attention (let's call him Mr. X), I will be reviewing his Hunter build. (To Mr. X: you didn't give me a screen name or anything, and I'm not sure if you want your real name attached to this. Drop me an email if you want me to credit the build to you.)

This build definitely falls into the "strange" category. You've all seen enough raid builds and leveling builds, time for something a bit different. Here's how Mr. X describes the build:

This Hunter idea just caught my attention, the ability to control 5 mobs, freeze trap, wait for cool down (24 seconds), wyvern sting pull, concussive shot another, one gets trapped, drop a trap for another, you pet tanks the last, 1 sleeping, 2 trapped, pop readiness, drop trap for the last, call pet back, wyvern sting the one it was fighting, relax a moment or two, back up, send pet in at first wyvern sting, let loose, then back to the second wyvern sting, trap cooldown should be up, retrap first ice block, fight the second ice block, have pet grab third ice block, mend pet, take out, and retrap the last ice block, step back, send in pet, let loose again. 5 mobs down, 1-2 minutes.

-in a goup this hunter could have some fun too. the ability to free 3 targets, for 26 seconds each, pull a group of 6 in end game instances, rogue and mage in group, 1 sap, one sheep, and 3 ice blocks, then a wyvern sting mid combat should it be needed, and chain trapping one of the 3, the group can take out 1 enemy at a time, even in a group of 6, or without mage and rogue, still stop 5 for a period, life becomes really easy at this point. plus expose weakness on the 1 target everyone is fighting. this could be especially helpful with boss adds, since freezing traps arent specific to a specific target type (i.e. humanoids, beast, undead, etc)

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Filed under: Hunter, Features, Talents, Build Shop

Build Shop: Druid 0/47/14

Last week I asked for Druid builds. How many of the builds I got do you think were Feral? That's right, all of them. Never let it be said I can't take a hint; here's a Feral build for this week. The tree is enjoying a justifiable period of popularity right now, I think. Every druid I regularly group with is Feral, and bear tanks do a great job. Tanks are in demand on my realm, so I haven't seen many druids get a chance to go kitty and shred some face butt, but when I have seen it it's been pretty impressive. And of course, like any other class that can heal, if they carry a healing set they can be pretty solid off-healers.

I got two 0/47/14 builds from two different people. One build included Intensity and Savage Fury, while the other one had Brutal Impact and Natural Shapeshifter. For reasons I'll get into later, I prefer the first variant, by Athaliana of Moonrunner, so that's what I'll look at here. Oh, and to answer your question, bwest0526, there is, as you can see, no set reason why builds have to be 0/41/20 or 31/0/30 or other such patterns like that. However, talent trees are designed such that particularly appealing one-point talents are placed at 11, 21, 31, and 41 points into each tree, so many builds go into trees with the goal of getting one of those talents, and then put the rest of their points in a different tree for some other purpose. The 21, 31, and 41 point talents especially tend to be very good values in many cases.

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Filed under: Druid, Features, Talents, Build Shop

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