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Arcane Brilliance: Challenge mode tips for mages part 2


Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

This is part two of three challenge mode tips for mages articles. Click here to go back and read part one.

This week we're going to look at getting your gear ready to dive into challenge modes! First, a few loose ends. I neglected to mention another reward for finishing gold CMs: Challenger's Path. This is a teleport on an 8 hour cooldown that will take you straight to the entrance of a CM you achieved a gold rating in! Once you complete any CM, the teleport cooldown resets. They're very handy for getting around Pandaria.

Some mages left comments about doing gold CMs as arcane. That's great! If you have any CM-specific arcane questions, I'm sure they'd be happy to share some of their strategy in the comments this week. I'll still be assuming you are probably frost. Frost is the most accessible and easiest option for the average mage, but I didn't say it couldn't be done by another spec. The reason for this is that frost scales better than the other two specs at lower item levels. It will perform well for you and can put out some serious AoE damage. Most mages doing CMs use it.

Finally, Adam Koebel posted an introductory challenge mode guide this week. It also includes links to recommended strat videos. HamletEJ's were the ones I used.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Challenge mode tips for mages part 1

A group of characters wearing challenge mode gear, from left to right: draenei shaman, human paladin, draenei mage, pandaren shaman, draenei death knight
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

Happy new year! Welcome to 2014. This week I'm going to talk about something we haven't looked at yet: challenge modes. Every column I've posted, someone has asked about or remarked on my current transmog. (Thank you for that. It warms my heart that you're also fashion-conscious). I'll admit, I haven't been able to change my transmog since I got the CM one. It's such a perfect combination of unique, exclusive, and also it's a credential. It says, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing here."

But the best thing about it is that you don't need a raid group to get it. Why would you want to do challenge modes as a mage? Read on to find out.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Spiritual Guidance: Monk healing vs. priest healing in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel pretty pumped up after Monday's release of the information from Blizzard's Mists of Pandaria press event. Some of the new zones are very striking, the pandaren ladies are absolutely adorable, and monks get an ability called Shuffle, which means we'll have an expansion full of Party Rock Anthem jokes to look forward to. Priests didn't see anything new on Monday, but with all the information released about mistweavers and monk healing in general, I thought I might make some comparisons to get a better idea about what priest healing is going to look like in MoP.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Totem Talk: Loot to maximize your elemental shaman's mastery

Elam, the recently-dwarvenized shaman.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once just the expert on enhancement shaman, Josh Myers has spent most of Dragon Soul as elemental, and he's not quite sure how he got there. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Mastery is my favorite stat in World of Warcraft because it's the only stat that actually changes function from class to class. Haste might speed up rune regeneration for death knights, or fire mages might view a huge critical strike chance more happily than an affliction warlock, but those stats do largely the same thing across classes. On the other hand, the mastery of an elemental shaman is incredibly different than a holy paladin, which is a big change from a protection warrior.

Lucky for me, this patch gave rise to mastery as elemental's key secondary stat after hitting the spell hit cap. It's been a good stat all expansion but sat solidly behind haste through all of Firelands and much of tier 11. With Dragon Soul out and most ele shaman who have been playing the past few months now wearing their tier 13 sets, it's mastery's turn to shine.

The reason for mastery's newfound glory is the Spiritwalker's Regalia four-piece bonus, which gives you 250 haste rating every time your Elemental Overload procs, stacking up to three times and lasting four seconds. At a full stack, this is effectively 750 free haste rating that you get just for gearing for mastery. However, this stack falls off quickly, and chances are you'll only get one or two spellcasts off before it drops. As a result, you want a lot of mastery, to give the two casts you do get a fair chance at keeping the buff up.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Keep yourself alive

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

One of the most important lessons I was forcibly reminded when killing heroic Yor'sahj this week was that dying makes you useless. Even if you can be given a battle res, that's not only lost damage time for you, it's lost damage or healing time for the person bringing you back from the dead. It means that battle res won't be available for a tank as the fight progresses, it's just a big mess. This was further reinforced by our Ultraxion kill. Killing Ultraxion on heroic means not only does everyone need to hit a minimum DPS threshold of about 33k sustained throughout the fight, they need to do this while performing nearly flawlessly on Hour of Twilight and Fading Light.

Having tanked the past couple of weeks, it was a lesson I needed to relearn. DPS players can't rely on being the target of a dedicated healer -- there's usually two or three healers at most in 25 man raids (and less, perhaps just one in 10's) focusing their attention on the raid as a whole. Even if they break the healing up into assignments and don't deviate, there's still several people at any given time needing the healers attention. While they certainly usually do their best, if we don't help them out we're only hindering ourselves. The days of 'meh, they'll heal me through it' are long gone.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

A priest's guide to class romance

It's a troubling yet underpublicized fact that four out of five shadow priests respecced shadow for the first time after experiencing a romantic break-up. Recent studies show that priests are 63% more likely to respec shadow within 72 hours of a break-up, while a separate poll found that 78% of healing priests had seriously considered respeccing to shadow after having an argument with their spouse or significant other. To the tenderhearted healing priest, shadow probably seems like a quick way to steel yourself and mend a broken heart; unfortunately, too few priests realize the two points they're putting into Masochism 'til they're staring down into an empty bottle of Volcanic Potion and wishing they could do the same DPS as a warlock.

The simple way to avoid all these drastic courses of action is, of course, to skip getting your heart broken in the first place. Easier said than done, you think? Perhaps, but knowing the battlefield of love will certainly help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Want to know what your best match is? What about your worst? This week, I've got the answers in a special guide to the classes.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Reader UI of the Week: How to build a preliminary monk UI

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

An odd email was sent to me by a reader expressing his concern over some of the new additions to the user interface coming with Mists of Pandaria and, more specifically, with the monk class. This got me thinking -- we need to start getting ready for the next expansion, and we need to do it now. Klaxons are sounding and alarm bells are ringing! Monks and pandas are coming!

So how do we go about talking about designing a preliminary UI for the monk? First, we have to look at what is being added to the interface through the new class. Second, we have to use our current vocabulary to discuss what could potentially be applied to monk-specific UI elements.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

The Light and How to Swing It: The Fall of Deathwing, ret edition, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

This is it, guys and girls. This is the moment we have all been training for while hitting that poor target dummy in Orgrimmar, because only repeatedly bashing a plank of wood will truly prepare you to square off against a dragon as epic as the big DW. So pick up your weapon, your bag of tricks, and your handful of cooldowns -- it's time to kill Deathwing the Destroyer.

Spine of Deathwing

I remember when there was wild speculation on what the Deathwing fight in Dragon Soul would actually look like. The devs announced that we would jump on him for part of the fight, and my strange brain secretly hoped that we would start at his tail and work our way up, maybe chopping off his legs and wings into a giant container of dry rub so the Titans could come on down and throw it on a massive barbecue. Honestly, we should have done that with Onyxia so she couldn't be resurrected 14 times!

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

Totem Talk: Choosing an elemental shaman weapon in Dragon Soul

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)
One of my favorite things about Dragon Soul are the weapons off Deathwing, as proc weapons have a long but tenuous history with WoW players. Some fondly remember the Fireball proc from Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, while enhancement shaman look back on Onyxia's Empowered Deathbringer and wonder what Blizzard was thinking. Seriously, the lower-ilevel Calamity's Grasp off the end boss from two patches prior was a better choice.

Losing stats in favor of a weapon's proc effect is always a gamble, especially given how incredibly loaded weapons are with stats. Going from a Lightning Rod to a Ti'tahk, the Steps of Time involves giving up a tremendous 300 hit rating and even more haste rating with the hope of the haste proc's paying off in times of great need. Because of this, I was curious about how the weapons in Dragon Soul would stand up when compared to one another, especially since there are multiple non-proc weapons in the instance to compete with the proc ones. So, I took to every elemental shaman's best friend -- Simulation Craft -- and did some simulations with a variety of weapon combinations. The shocking results: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest is still the best weapon in the game. Surprise?

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Filed under: Shaman, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution and the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Now that everyone has seen plenty of Dragon Soul, I think it's perfect time for a raid guide! In all seriousness, I've always enjoyed looking up other strat ideas and little tidbits of useful information on things that I had already been doing, and there are still plenty of people out there who are either just starting Dragon Soul due to holiday schedules or something similar, so there we go! This week we will take a look at the first four bosses of Dragon Soul: Morchok, Warlord Zon'ozz, Yor'sahj the Unsleeping, and Hagara the Stormbinder.

Morchok

He looks intimidating, but really he's just one big rocky pushover. For the majority of the fight, all you need to focus on is avoiding AoE damage and hitting the boss. In terms of positioning, most strats call for the DPS and healers to stack up at max melee range so that Morchok can focus his extra Stomp damage on your tanks and not you. Therefore, when you see Crusader Strike light up, don't go any further in.

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: How to evaluate your DPS using World of Logs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

When it comes to tanking or healing, it's pretty obvious when you're doing things correctly. The metrics for these important roles typically involve staving off death as long as possible, whether it be through drawing a monster's ire or invoking the name of some unseen deity to mend the wounds of one's allies. As members of the damage-dealing brigade, we ret paladins can be said to adhere to the same requirements in that we attempt to kill our adversaries before they kill us, but truly gauging a DPSer's value involves more than just looking at meter addons like Recount and Skada. Today, we will discuss the use of a very versatile and amazingly useful tool known as World of Logs in the context of retribution paladin DPS.

Buffs gained

In my opinion, buffs gained is one of the more handy parts of World of Logs. Here, you can see what buffs you gained throughout the course of an encounter, from Bloodlust to Divine Guardian and beyond. Notice that if you click on the pound sign (#) next to any ability, a graph comparing your damage done with overall raid DPS will pop up at the top of the screen. Underneath that graph will be your selected ability, with green boxes representing the uptime on the buff or debuff. The check box next to the name of the ability will overlay this uptime information on top of the graph itself.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

BlizzCon 2011: Samwise on Mists of Pandaria

Our sister site Joystiq nabbed an interview with Samwise Didier who is, in a way, the spiritual father of Mists of Pandaria. As art director, he's had an influence on every Blizzard game for years, but this one's special: he originally created the Pandaren.

"It was one of the last things that I really wanted to see in World of Warcraft, which is Warcraft in general ... Now I can almost say, well, I think I've done good with Warcraft -- they're finally in."

Check out the full article.


The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, BlizzCon

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution paladin feedback

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned retribution paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or compliments!

Before we begin, let's have a quick overview of our snazzy new tier 13 armor, complete with set bonuses!

Aesthetically speaking, I really like the look of it. Sure, the helm is a bit gaudy, but I think the color scheme and overall design really fit the concept of paladin well. Blizzard stated that it based the design off of Guardian of Ancient Kings, but it obviously went beyond that just a tad. Also, for those of you not keen on plate dresses, this set should be right up your alley!

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Lichborne: A look at the death knight tier 13 set bonuses

Thassarian
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

We got a nice bit of weekend news a few days ago, as Zarhym unveiled the tier 13 class set bonuses for all to see. Tier 13, of course, will come to us with patch 4.3. They've definitely provoked a lot of discussion and debate, and the death knight bonuses are no exception. Unfortunately, the early consensus on the status of the bonuses leans toward "failed experiment." After the break, we'll delve in a bit deeper and discuss how the bonuses fail and succeed.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Joystiq Network's E3 coverage kicks off

Our network is abuzz with E3 news this week. Our friends over at Joystiq and Massively are hard at work in the convention coal mines, doing their best to bring us the best coverage they possibly can. If you're interested in gaming outside of World of Warcraft and want a rundown of the day's events, this post is for you.

We will be covering just the last 24 (or so) hours in this E3 roundup, so if you're interested in any of the information that came in over the weekend or early Monday, I highly recommend checking out the entirety of both Joystiq's coverage and Massively's coverage.

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Filed under: News items

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