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The Light and How to Swing It: How to compare intellect and spirit in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

With Mists of Pandaria coming up on the horizon, many holy paladins are looking ahead to the changes that the expansion will bring. Most of the talent and ability info is still very malleable at this point, and as such, I haven't begun to worry or get excited just yet. One thing that we do know is that in Mists, intellect will finish the transformation that it started in Cataclysm. Intellect is going to become a throughput-only stat, as it will stop increasing our maximum mana.

Today, intellect and longevity are nearly synonymous. Replenishment and Divine Plea are two of our largest mana sources, and they both scale off of our intellect. Most paladins are sporting intellect gems and trinkets, and intellect flasks and food fill up our bags. Holy paladins have been leaning on intellect for a long time due to its versatility, and it seemed like the decision to roll spell power into intellect would permanently ensure intellect's role as our best stat. By decoupling intellect and mana, the developers are changing everything we know about gearing a healer.

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

Lichborne: Racial abilities for death knights

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.

With all the upheaval regarding death knight abilities and DPS happening right now, it's sometimes a good idea to go back to the basics and figure out some of the stuff that underlies a good, solid death knight.

One of the most basic cornerstones of choosing a death knight is choosing your race. Since every single race can be a death knight, you have your pick, and since there's a race change service, you don't even have to stay the same race forever. Personally, I tend to say that you choose whatever race feels right for you -- but for those who want to pick a race (or change your current race) based on what racials are "best," this guide is for you.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Patch 3.3 PTR: Easing the curve for beginners


The patch 3.3 PTR notes are out, and the most interesting thing to me, after just a first look, is that Blizzard is making some serious tweaks to the level 1-10 experience, of all things. Dazed is getting changed a bit -- characters from levels 1-5 will be completely immune, while characters 6-10 will have a much lower chance of getting slowed down. Health and mana regeneration at the lower levels is being increased (mana costs on the lower levels of spells are also being decreased, though we're not sure yet which spells are being changed and what the difference is). The default equipment is being tweaked, and most notably, rogues will start out right away with dual wield and two daggers do it with.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Leveling, Cataclysm

Spiritual Guidance: 12 Reasons why you don't want to play a Priest

You know, I'm normally a huge proponent of my class. Don't get me wrong, I love my Dwarf Priest. There's all these great healing spells we have at our disposal. No one's ever going to turn down a Priest from joining a raid or a guild. I have to admit, we have it pretty easy. I'm used to giving newer players advice about Priests and reasons for selecting that class.

Every once in a while, I get extremely bitter about being a Priest. For those of you that want to roll a Priest, let me introduce some second thoughts.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Insider Trader: Profession-specific buffs part 2


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

Last week, Insider Trader discussed the profession-only bonuses associated with Inscription, Jewelcrafting and Enchanting. This week, I'm going to walk you through the rest of them, and include a final summary and comparison at the end.

Tailoring Perks

Tailors have the ability to enchant their own cloaks. Other players can get cloak enchants from Enchanters, although the Tailoring ones are superior in many cases.
  • Darkglow Embroidery: Chance to restore 300 mana on spell cast. There seems to be a 60 second internal cooldown, with a proc rate of 35%, which is equal to 25 mp5.
  • Lightweave Embroidery: Chance on spell cast to increase your spellpower by 250 for 15 seconds.
  • Swordguard Embroidery: Chance for melee and ranged attacks to sometimes increase your attack power by 300 for 15 seconds.
There seems to be a 45 second internal cooldown on Lightweave and Swordguard, meaning that for 15 seconds out of every 45 seconds (+, if you don't proc it on the next hit, but they do seem to proc within a hit or three), you have the effect. This averages out to 83 SP, and 100 AP respectively, in ideal conditions. Depending on your luck with procs, the average decreases the longer it takes you to proc it again.

For example, after 45 seconds, each spell has a chance to proc the effect. If you managed it at the 50 second mark, the average becomes +75 SP.

Casters who are not Tailors can currently choose between Enchant Cloak - Wisdom and Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed.

Wisdom grants you a measly 10 spirit, as well as a now obsolete 2% threat reduction. The +23 haste rating is nice, but provides neither mana nor spellpower.

Enchant Cloak - Major Agility grants you +22 agility to cloak. Agility is inefficient to everyone except rogues, hunters, shamans and druid cats, who would get +22 AP from it as well as the crit/dodge/armor. In terms of attack power alone, the Swordguard enchant is the clear winner.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Enchanting, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Jewelcrafting, Features, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

Skill Mastery: Thunderstorm


Upon dipping into the Wrath beta for the first time about a month ago, I quickly realized being a Resto Shammy wasn't going to cut it for leveling from 70-80 (don't worry too much, though, dedicated Restos, as that says more about my lack of patience for the spec than the actual strength of the spec itself). I switched Elemental the first time I got in there, and haven't looked back since. And while I'm finding all kinds of fun little strengths in the Elemental tree (my spell crit is much higher than it ever was, obviously, and Lighting Overload, even though it's not new in Wrath, is a lot of fun), the real standout is the 51-point talent, Thunderstorm.

Here's a spell that does its darndest to focus on two issues caster Shamans have had in the past: running out of mana and getting caught in melee. The name could probably use a tweak (it's more of a Lightningstrike than a Thunderstorm), but the spell effect is great, and while it's gone through a few tuning iterations in the beta so far, odds seem good that it'll come out being one of the best-used tools in the Elemental Shammy's arsenal.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Mana Regen Calculator updated for Mages

Resto4Life has updated their very helpful Mana Regen Calculator -- if you want to figure out just how much mana you're picking up while buffed and dressed in a raiding or group situation, it'll tell you, including talents, items, and even abilities used on you (Innervate and Mana Tide totem). Pretty slick.

The new update allows for Mages to have a set of abilities of their own, including Mage Armor, and Evocation, which means that Druids, Priests and the followers of the Arcane all have their chance to see how much Mana they're getting back per tick. Shame that Shaman aren't on the list yet (maybe all of the mp5 on Shaman abilities and gear would make it too hard to do?), but if you're one of the listed classes, it's a terrific resource for seeing what your Mana regen abilities are like and how you can best make use of them. Very cool.

Filed under: Druid, Mage, Priest, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Talents, Buffs

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