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Posts with tag mage-gear

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing your mage up for the Raid Finder in patch 4.3

Raid Finder
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week we discuss some ways to make sure your mage's wardrobe is filled with only the prettiest dresses, most mysterious cowls, sparkliest wands, and ... er, staffiest staves.

Patch 4.3 has been with us for a good solid month now, and I sincerely hope that by now we've all escorted our mages through a good portion of the new content it offers. As all the best patches do, 4.3 has ushered in a fresh tier of gear and a new progression hierarchy to follow in getting said gear. Best of all, we have a whole new gearing tool to play with in the Raid Finder.

If you happen to be one of those mages who looks at his item level and finds it still languishing somewhere below the minimum requirements to join the battle to vanquish Deathwing, I believe a gearing guide is in order. Without further preamble, I present Arcane Brilliance's Handy Guide to Shiny Things, patch 4.3 edition.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Mage pre-raid trinket compendium

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we're talking trinketry. I have a rubber pig keychain that has an on-use proc: When you squeeze him, poop comes out of his butt. It's difficult to measure the value of that, but I'm pretty sure it's worth a billion DPS.

Quickly: Close your eyes, forget that you have already seen the title and intro to this week's column, and tell me the first thing that comes into your head when I say, "hardest pre-raid gear slot to fill." No, not bracers. What ... dang it. I mean ... come on, guys!

It's trinkets! Trinkets. Didn't you read the title? It's right there.

Though you have two slots free for trinkets, they have always been one of the most notoriously difficult to fill gear slots in the game. And no single gear choice is more subjective than choosing one trinket over another. Instead of choosing between 225 intellect and 255 intellect, you're often picking between a Vengeful Wisp and a Fallen Footman. That's a bit like asking which is better, shrimp tacos or integrity? I don't ... I don't know. Sometimes the only indication that one given trinket is better than another is the item level, and let's be honest, even that isn't often a very reliable indicator. The math can be obtuse and often a bit fuzzy, and even plugging trinkets into a damage-simulating program like Rawr can prove problematic.

And then there's the matter of finding said trinkets. Through each of WoW's three expansions, the relative difficulty of finding two good trinkets has been a frustrating constant. In many cases, you'll find solid endgame-level upgrades for every other slot while still waiting, an increasingly hard-to-ignore urge to kill swelling steadily behind your brow, for Paletress to finally drop the stupid Abyssal Rune, even though this is your 75th consecutive run and you've seen her drop the stupid hunter trinket the last 16 times ...

To compound the issue, there's the undeniable fact that no other single gear upgrade can improve your DPS as dramatically as switching from a crappy trinket to an awesome one. Those two slots are arguably the most important in the game.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Pimp My Profile: Lissaris, arcane mage

Welcome to Pimp My Profile, the column in which the WoW.com staff turns zeroes into heroes. Don't think you're performing where you should be? Not sure how your class/spec is supposed to be gearing up? E-mail us with your Armory link, and you might be next to receive our help!

I've traditionally used a modified frostfire build, which has always worked well for me. I recently dual spec'd and tried an arcane build, but I wasn't able to put out as much DPS. Any suggestions on how I can improve to deliver maximum DPS?
- Lissaris
I wasn't quite sure how to classify you in the title of the post, seeing as you've only recently respecced into arcane. The good news is that most of the tweaks I'll be suggesting today will work for both specs. Lets hear it for stat homogenization!

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Filed under: Mage

Arcane Brilliance: What to do with your trinket slots, Part 1

It's time again for another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly mage column that thinks nothing's prettier than a mage on a balcony in Dalaran, tearing through the fabric of space with a violent explosion of arcane energy.

Ah...best in slot.

In a game that is--stripped to its most basic components--about obtaining better and better gear, it's natural that eventually, you'd begin wondering what the holy grail is. What is the ultimate goal? Which piece of gear is actually, finally, at the end of the day, the best? And how long until the next patch takes it from best in slot to third or fourth-best in slot?

In most cases, this isn't especially difficult to determine. Which item has the best stats? If one cloak has 80 spellpower, and another has 90, chances are good that you can identify the best option of the two. Programs like Rawr can make it even easier. Plug in your character's information, and viola! Here's the robe that's best for you. But where things typically get hairy is on those final two slots: trinket #1, and trinket #2.

Unlike most of your other gear, trinkets are often more...subjective. Here are two excellent trinkets:

Reign of the Dead


Talisman of Resurgence

You're a new mage. Which one of those is better? How do you even compare them? One appears to be an apple, while the other has a decidedly orange-like quality.

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 2

Welcome to the latest Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that believes there's no such thing as a wrong time to turn something into a sheep. Unless it was already a sheep to begin with. Then it would probably have been better to turn it into a pig or a rabbit or something. Or maybe just hit it with a Pyroblast. Mmmm. Lamb chops. What were we talking about again?

If you missed last week, here's a link to click on so you can catch up. If you can't be bothered to read the first part of this column, let me summarize the idea here: we're discussing ways to get your Mage all decked out in epic, raid-worthy gear without ever actually entering a raid instance. Now, more than ever before, we have so many options for obtaining raid-quality gear that actually raiding for it seems almost...old-fashioned.

Last week we talked about 5-mans in both their normal and heroic varieties, focusing on Trial of the Champion, because duh. But maybe you don't want to do 5-mans. Maybe your guildies aren't on, and maybe you hate pugs. Maybe you are a Mage, and because there are eighty-four DPSers looking for group for every one tank or healer, you threw your hands up after an hour of trying to get a group and went off to do dailies.

Well good news, everyone! Doing those dailies can get you epics too! Yes, it is entirely possible--even if you happen to be the guy on your server who ninjas gear in pugs and sucks at everything to the point that nobody invites you to groups anymore--to fill just every slot of your gear with sparkly purples without doing any instances of any kind. Isn't that wonderful? It tends to take a bit longer, overall, but these alternative methods for obtaining gear can be perfect for those of us who simply don't have a lot of time to commit to a group. Simply log in, craft an epic cloak, do a daily quest or two, blast out a couple Arena matches, and then repeat for a few weeks, and eventually you'll have epics too. Anyway, nice talking to you, see you next week! Wait...what's that? You want details? Oh fine. Clicky clicky.

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Quests, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Inscription

Arcane Brilliance: Making your Mage raid-worthy, part 1


Welcome to another Arcane Brilliance, the weekly Mage column that asks all the tough questions, and then Ice Blocks before the tough answers one-shot it.

A little while after Wrath hit, Arcane Brilliance posted a column on how to gear your Mage up for Naxx. Several things have changed since then:

  1. Pretty much everything I wrote then is now wrong.
  2. You don't really gear for Naxx anymore. Naxx is now a place you go in order to gear up for other places.
  3. Trial of the Champion.
Knowing these things, I thought an updated gearing column might be in order. So if you're raising a fledgling Mage, and level 80 is about to hit you like a truckload of Death Knights, and you're looking for the quickest way to turn green and blue into purple, look no farther. Well maybe a little farther. The column's not over yet.

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Filed under: Mage, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Features, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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

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

Arcane Brilliance: Trial of the Champions loot preview for Mages


Each week Arcane Brilliance conjures a portal into the darkest regions of your soul. You should tip Arcane Brilliance, though....those reagents cost money, guys. Also, your soul has a lot of dark regions, so finding the darkest ones is actually kind of a pain. Seriously, tip. Arcane Brilliance took time out of its day to come over and open that portal for you--time that could have been spent killing Warlocks. Compensate Arcane Brilliance. I don't think that's asking too much, really. A couple thousand gold will do. Arcane Brilliance isn't picky. Oh, and Arcane Brilliance also has a Spectral Tiger mount to sell you...


Gather round, I want to tell you all a story.

Once upon a time, we all hit the level cap (or maybe you haven't yet, but just go with it). We were stumbling around Blasted Lands, or Netherstorm, or more recently, Storm Peaks or something, setting things on fire like we tend to do, and suddenly we realized we weren't getting experience points anymore. What to do now? Our gear sucked; we were tromping around sporting some kind of purple turban, a hideous brown shirt with agility on it, and probably a pink skirt that showed way too much leg or something. We glanced around and probably saw some other Mage flying by on a giant golden dragon, wearing a slick getup that looked as if had come off the rack as a matching set at Archmages R Us, carrying a staff that was constructed out of a full demon skeleton and pulsed with the pallid red malice of a thousand hells. We looked down at the flimsy stick or crappiness we'd found on a kobold corpse about 6 levels back, and we wanted more.

Unfortunately, the gear that other Mage had could only be obtained through raiding, and you couldn't spell DPS if you had a dictionary and a last name with 72 consonants in it. To get good gear, you had to have good gear, and your flimsy stick of crappiness just wasn't going to cut it. So you put your nose to the grindstone. You got into max-level instances. You ground reputation with 17 different factions. You saved your pennies and bought things on the auction house. You applied yourself to a profession until you could craft yourself some kind of epic pants or something. Little by little, you pieced together the best of what the pre-raid end-game had to offer, until one day your guild finally let you come along to your first raid. Then the Warlock won the roll on that sweet wand from the fourth boss, and you checked to see if you could kill another person through your computer screen, just by hating them enough. Turns out you can't. Shame.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Insider Trader: Jewelcrafting nerf incoming

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Bornakk just announced on the forums that Jewelcrafters are about to see a new nerf, and as a result, people are already beginning to weigh the benefits of switching to a different profession for min-maxing, or working out how they are going to re-itemize their gear.

Bornakk:
In the next major content patch we will be removing the prismatic quality of the jewelcrafter-only Dragon's Eye gems. Like other gems, they will have to match the socket color to receive a socket bonus. When this change occurs, players with qualifying jewelcrafting skill will be provided a yet to be determined amount of Dalaran Jewelecrafter Tokens as compensation.

This probably won't be enough to entice players to drop the profession, but it is a bit of a blow. Stratfu points out that because Mage T8 is equipped primarily with yellow and blue sockets, the only way to actually meet socket bonus requirements will be to use sub-par gems.

The JC-only Runed Dragon's Eye offers +32 spell power, and currently fits into any socket, conforming to meet the necessary color requirements. This is compared to the +19 spell power that the rest of us folks get from Runed Scarlet Rubies. While Jewelcrafters will still be able to use these gems, they won't be able to stick them just anywhere.

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Filed under: Mage, Paladin, Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions)

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing your Mage up for Naxx



Each week, Arcane Brilliance commandeers a cannon atop one of the towers in Wintergrasp and launches flaming balls of explosive Mage content down upon the unsuspecting masses below. Deadly, deadly Mage content. You may not know this, but Arcane Brilliance gets a tenacity buff whether it's outnumbered or not. Suck on that, Warlocks!


Patch 3.0.8, and all of its unabashed Arcane Mage love, is just around the proverbial corner. If you missed Arcane Brilliance's coverage of the changes, you can find it here, still preserved in its original state. We have other business to attend to this week, though. Last week, we finally rounded out our series of leveling guides by going from level 70 all the way to 80. Now comes the age-old problem: what to do once you've hit the cap?

As it has ever been, hitting the current level cap--much like graduating from high school or college--only serves to show us how far behind the curve we really are. We go from the top of one ladder to the very bottom of another. No self-respecting raid-leader is going to invite a Mage to Naxxramas who is still sporting the mismatched greens and blue quest-rewards he had on when he dinged 80 somewhere in the middle of Zul'Drak. The good news in Wrath of the Lich King, however, is that the power gap now isn't as difficult to bridge as it has been in previous incarnations of the end-game.

After the break, we'll go over some of the changes and list a selection of pre-Naxx gear and where to find it.

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Filed under: Mage, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Factions, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: What to give the Mage who has everything



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.

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Filed under: Mage, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Features, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: How long will my gear last me?



Each week, Arcane Brilliance emerges from the sewers beneath Dalaran, weary from dueling (and winning!) over
and over in the Circle of Wills, to deliver to you a column about Mages. What's that you say? What good are sewers in a floating city? Where does all the sewage go? Does the city drift over the countryside, forever trailing a series of sewage waterfalls? Ah, but you forget: Dalaran is a city of Mages! Even our poo is magical.

After reading our own Adam Holisky's excellent post on upgrading tanking shields in Wrath, I decided I wanted to know how long my Mage's gear would last in the frozen north. It's a fair question, and I suspect a common concern. We've worked hard for our shiny epics--either by raiding like crazy or grinding for honor or Arena points, and often a bit of both--and the thought of leaving them behind in one of the expansion's first zones for some green quality item that drops off a random mob is a little bit depressing.

We want to feel--in these last months before Wrath arrives--as if our efforts have not been in vain. If we're still rolling in Karazhan gear, is it worthwhile for us to spend the time upgrading? If our guild has worked its way up through Sunwell Plateau, are we going to replace that gear right away, or will it last us a few levels? How motivated should we be to try to obtain the best that Burning Crusade has to offer before making the trip to Northrend?

Well, fear not. Arcane Brilliance is here to show you how long you have before you retire your level 70 purples. And relax: it'll be longer than you think. Come back after the jump, won't you?

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Filed under: Mage, Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King

Arcane Brilliance: Gearing your Mage for Karazhan



Welcome to another edition of Arcane Brilliance, where our spell hit is capped out, our damage is through the roof, and our crits are frequent and beefy. We're Mages, after all, and absolute power is what we do. Except against that Rogue last night--the one who seemed to be able to pop Cloak of Shadows every 3 seconds or so and never took full damage from anything even though armor-wise, he only seemed to be sporting some kind of ninja mask and a black jumpsuit of dubious fire-retardant value. No, against that particular Rogue, our absolute power amounted to having three of our spells resisted in a row, followed by us blinking away in abject horror, weeping like a child. That's right: fear Mages. We're powerful sorcerers, channeling the profound and unparalleled might of the arcane...unless you resist our spells, in which case we're just guys in dresses waving sticks. Feel free to jab us with something sharp.


Once upon a time, your Mage stumbled blearily out into Azeroth and cast his first Fireball at a kobold or a wolf or something. Then a bunch of other stuff happened, and now you're level 70, and you just bought your flying mount and used it to see how far up you could go before your graphics card stopped rendering the ground. After you screw around a bit, maybe quest out Netherstorm, run Shadow Labyrinth a few times and learn to hate the Blackheart fight, you may find yourself wondering what's next for your green and blue-clad wizard. Perhaps...another color entirely? Wandering aimlessly about Shattrath one day, you notice a fellow spell-slinger clad in a robe you've never seen before. Inspecting her, you are shocked to see the name of the robe is written not in green...or even blue...but purple.

Asking where such a treasure might be obtained, you learn a name that will consume your waking thoughts and haunt your dreams: Karazhan.

Your guild, you learn, frequents the haunted castle that bears this name, and would be happy to take you along...if you can be of some use to them within its shadowed walls. Your current hodgepodge of mismatched quest rewards and 5-man drops simply won't cut it. You must improve yourself, and quickly. But how? Read on, fellow Mages, and find out.

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Filed under: Mage, Tailoring, Blizzard, Instances, Jewelcrafting, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Worldwide Invitational

Arcane Brilliance: Level 70 checklist



Every week, Arcane Brilliance works its way into your spell-rotation, right between Fireball two and Fireball three. It has a zero second cast time, doesn't trigger the global cooldown, costs no mana, does ridiculous amounts of damage, creates no threat, and is entirely unresistable. Yes, I'm aware that's not a word. Yes, I understand that "irresistible" is the grammatically correct alternative. Yes, I like to make up words. Also, apparently Arcane Brilliance is the greatest spell ever, and should probably make up your entire spell rotation, and not just a part of it. The good news? I just saved you space on your action bars.


If forced, at gunpoint, to identify the most daunting aspect of the World of Warcraft experience, I know exactly what I'd say. It wouldn't be starting the game, as Blizzard has done a wonderful job of making entry into the game itself incredibly user-friendly. It wouldn't be beginning to raid, as hopefully when you go into your first raid, your guild will be fully aware that it is your first raid and won't expect too much of you, so you can participate without pressure.

No, I'd have to say the single most daunting part of the game happens at a very specific point, and that point is the moment you ding level 70.

Perhaps you don't realize it at that exact instant. For most, the moment of realization comes later. Perhaps it happens when you hop into your first Arena match and die two-and-a-half seconds later. Perhaps it happens when you get thrown into a Karazhan pick-up-group and notice half of your spells are being resisted by Attumen the Huntsman. Perhaps it happens while walking around Shattrath, and you notice a Gnome Mage, ostensibly at the same level as you, wandering around in full tier 6 gear, sporting a mana pool twice as large as yours and around a kajillion spell damage. Perhaps it happens when your guild leader tells you no, you can't come help on Gruul, because you have no spell hit rating, and you don't even know what that means.

So what are you to do? How do you turn your mismatched greens and quest-reward blues into gear that will get you a raid spot? Read on after the jump, and find out how to start down the road to becoming epic.

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Filed under: Mage, Engineering, Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Leveling, Factions, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Battlegrounds, Arena

Arcane Brilliance: Cast fast and hit hard



Every week, Arcane Brilliance
strives to make us all a bit Mage-ier. This week, we shine our spotlight on two stats every Mage should have, but far too few of us know enough about: Spell hit rating and spell haste rating. Last week we saw that patch 2.4 has made these two ratings a bit easier to obtain on gear, and this week we'll find out why that should make the Mage nation a happy place.

When I wrote up the list of shiny new Mage gear the patch delivered to us last week, I couldn't help but notice a strange preponderance of two stats I was relatively unfamiliar with. Currently, I have a whopping 53 spell hit rating on my Mage, from the Scryer's Bloodgem and the Gladiator's War Staff. None of my current gear gives a single point of spell haste rating. When I saw those stats reflected on so much of the new 2.4 gear, I became very curious. Why is Blizzard pushing these two ratings? Where's my spell crit and spell damage?

I broke out my most scholarly looking pair of glasses, perched them upon the end of my nose so that I could squint down through them at my computer screen, and did some research. I may have scribbled some complex formulae upon a chalkboard, and it's entirely possible that I muttered the occasional "astonishing!" or "brilliant!" under my breath in a faux English accent as I conducted this study.

What did I learn? Well, two things really: first, both of these ratings are important to Mages, and in PvE you can make the argument that spell hit is the single most important end-game stat for a Mage to have. And secondly, I fricking hate researching things. I mean seriously, my mind pretty much shuts off when I see a decimal point. After the break, I'll try to save you the trouble of doing what I did this week, and break down what these two ratings mean in layman's terms. Don't worry, math nerds, I'll link you to the crazy numbers articles too, so you can go make out with your calculators or whatever.

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Filed under: Mage, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Guides, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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