Choosing a caster

73 Blood Elf Paladin
1065
Hey there, so from the title, the main point in this thread is to figure out what the best caster class would be (for me). I don't mind person opinions or being biast, just tell me your personal experiences without exaggerating to much.. So I have a 89 monk, which I'm loving, but at the same time I want to be able to switch between that, and a caster.

Saying that, the two classes I'm most interested in are a fire mage & destro warlock. I've so far gotten both to 45 in a short period of time, both in full heirlooms and I'm having a difficult time deciding which one.

I want a class which wont be switched around much, as in one stage being extremely OP then the next getting the nerfbat to the ground. I understand 45 is an extremely low level to be judging the class by, but here are my main experiences so far.

Fire mage: Can slow the enemy, burst on demand with crit hits building free pyros etc. consistant amount of damage although being able to solo stuff is quite difficult. Keeps me on the edge of my seat and is exciting playing because it's difficult, yet gives you a good feeling once you have achieved something on it.

Destruction warlock: Can pretty much let my pet do the tanking while I pull 5 other mobs and blast them to the ground. My main damage relying on chaos bolt. Amazing for pve, but for pvp I keep finding myself to only be stunned while trying to pop a chaos bolt, then having to rely on my lower damage spells and my pet to slowly bleed them. Extremely relying class on my high damage outputs and healing cooldowns which is kind of boring.

I try to consider myself as an above average player, who likes to spend time getting to know the class in depths and figuring out how to play it in different ways. My question is, what would you suggest playing if I want these things; I want to be able to solo alot, I don't really like having to rely on a group (or a pet) I want to have consistant damage and now rely on one huge crit every now and than. I'd like to be my own unique build and one that can survive well in pvp especially.

What I'm looking for:
-Solo-ability in PvE
-Survival in PvP
-Burst on demand
-Unique class so I can get to know it in depth
-A formidable class is known how to play well
-Can adapt to any situation
-Overall entertaining by not having tor ely on 'x' amount of things

If you could please list your opinion/information/experiences down it would be greatly appreciated. To find a caster class that i could be able to solo in PVE decently, then be able to have great survival in PvP if played well would mean choosing that class over the other.
P.S (This is obviously about the class at endgame!)
Cheers!
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90 Human Warlock
13425
First and foremost: both sides are going to say the other is better, and flame back and forth. Ultimately it's up to you. Neither has all of the things you're looking for, so you'll have to choose what is more important.

Mage:
-solo-ability in pve
dailies? there isn't a class that can't. rares? all but warbringers with ease.

-survival in pvp
very good while you have some key cooldowns up. iceblock is a good stop-pressure ability that is getting some beneficial changes in 5.3. even invisibility can be used to great effect. you have the toolkit, just matters how you use it.

-burst on demand
There is a reason mages are one of the most consistently complained about classes in pvp. You will have the ability to nearly "instagib" someone at will. But not always in the spec you want to play. (Spoiler: Its generally frost) Understand that outside of this "make them die" window you'll need to play kiting / rely on teammates to keep you in the clear. You are a cannon, not a siege machine.

-unique class:
So many little intricacies about mages that I can not even begin to recount them all. Good mages will always be kings, look to some long time mages for pointers. Cartoonz for PvP, Livh / Mumrit have good grips on PvE (if their opinions differ. just read both; your best weapon as a caster is information.)

-Formidible? Covered above.
-Adapt?
This covers the toolkit section again, you have an answer for almost everything, use them wisely.

-Entertaining?
Well, some will complain that as a caster you are rooted. The lv90 talents are god horrible, and you're squishy and need babysitting. Perhaps. But as far as fire goes; all you need is crits. #GoBig

Warlock: (Bias ahead)
-soloability:
All of it. You can spec and or tweak abilities around to be almost as good as a real tank. Or just throw your minion at the target and let it do the work. This will cover most of your bases, just remember that a LOT of your utility spells are tied to specific minions. You'll need psychic powers to know ahead of time what you'll need before an encounter.

-survival in PvP
Incredible, you are an immortal god among men... for about 15 seconds every two / three minutes. Then your soft tissue paper center is exposed until your cooldowns come back. Health return (as a whole) is not nearly what it was in previous expansions outside of this window.

-burst on demand
You have an ability called Dark Soul. This is your burst. All of it. Use it well, you have damage; muck it up, and you're tickling your opponent for 2 minutes until Dark Soul comes back.

-Unique?
Well, there are countless guides on just about everything. Both mages and locks have a strong theory community.

-Formidable class?
All sources say yes. How well the class performs is completely on you, but the potential is there.

-Can adapt to any situation:
No. You can pre-prep for any situation, out of combat. But as a lot of utility spells are on the demons, and your mobility requires being placed before an encounter (gateway / portal) you do not have reactionary abilities like the mage. Again we revisit the needing to be precognitive at times.

-Overall entertaining:
Very few warlocks will tell you they are not having fun. The ones that do: can't obtain / clear the green fire quest. You might not always be the most effective; but you won't be completely miserable while doing it.
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90 Human Priest
12075
Shadow

Always Shadow
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Given everything you've said, I think you would really enjoy where Frost is at for Mages right now. The only downside is soloing. We aren't very good at it, and that's by design. You can solo a lot of old stuff, including Wrath content (I haven't tried Cata stuf but Onyxia 10 man type content is super easy). You're still a Glass Cannon, you just have ten times the health that a tank did back then. You've got enough stuff between Evocation (which is a JOKE since 5.2), Ice Barrier, Alter Time, Cauterize, Images, and Ice Block that will keep you alive. And all those things I just listed can be available every fight (as in they aren't overlapping talents or anything), only 2 of them are 3 minute cooldowns. If all of that fails, you can Invis and reset the boss.

Portals are really nice. I have my hearth set to the Isle of Thunder.

Blink is my favorite spell in the entire game, having played 4 different classes at max level at one point in time or another. Nothing comes close.

Other really "fun" spells:
Alter Time
Spellsteal
Ring of Frost
Slow Fall - Pairs really well with the Blazing Speed talent to jump from really high places
Ancient Portal: Dalaran
Deep Freeze
Time Warp - not Mage specific per se

I haven't played a Warlock at max level so I can't speak for them.
Edited by Smigel on 4/29/2013 1:22 PM PDT
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90 Goblin Mage
4080
I have a 90 lock and this mage. While the lock cool with demos and dark powers I'd say overall they are boring. I play demo because the rotation of destro is soooo boring. And in pvp you'll be lucky to get your CB off unless its in a bgs. Demo is much more mobile and have good burst but has a lot of ramp up time. And demo is very Tanky. Honestly my favorite part of my lock right now is getting transmog sets (much better then mage)

Mage is overall much more fun and rewarding. And shatter combos makes the game much more intriguing. Only harp I have against my fire mage is no matter how well I play him right now at this lvl I can do ten times as much damage and solo ten times more mobs as frost. And I hate that.

At work on iPhone.
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90 Undead Warlock
5620
Shadow

Always Shadow


Shadow survivability is not gonna be as good as lock or mage in 5.3
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90 Human Priest
12075
Shadow survivability is not gonna be as good as lock or mage in 5.3


Meet me in the playground after school.
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90 Tauren Druid
15515
I'm ironically having a similar problem, just of different classes.

I'm trying to decide between the three dps casters that have healing offspecs

Balance / Resto
Ele / Resto
Shadow / Disc

I want to make a toon that I can dps in BGs with effectively, switch to healing if I feel like it, does well 1v1, and whose dps spec can fit on an arena team decently.

For arena I know.... the answer is spriest.... even with their incoming nerfs.... spriest.

For RBGs and regular BGs.... balance and ele might make a comeback compared to shadow.

1v1.... I dunno, on my melee classes I don't tend to have a problem fighting any of the three, but maybe I'm not finding good ones.

I prefer my druid, and I'm tempted to switch to balance/resto on him and go from there, however I really don't want to regret it if I don't just finish my spriest off and gear it.

I think between shaman and druid, the druid wins.... so it comes down to druid vs priest.

For a MOSTLY dps caster druid with heal offspec vs a MOSTLY dps caster priest with a heal offspec......

.... am I going to be screwing myself not playing the priest?
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73 Blood Elf Paladin
1065
Appreciating all the people replying and giving me all their input, it's helped me so far narrow things down to exactly what I want, but still, picking one over the other is really irritating me
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90 Troll Priest
4905
Meet me in the playground after school.


/mobile phone

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
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90 Draenei Shaman
12325
@Gumble:

Take elemental shaman off of your list if you want to do well in PVP. We have tons of tools that might be useful in PVP, but we also have weaknesses compared to shadow priests or balance druids (reliability on direct cast time spells at the forefront).
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90 Troll Shaman
17695
What I'm looking for:
-Solo-ability in PvE
-Survival in PvP
-Burst on demand
-Unique class so I can get to know it in depth
-A formidable class is known how to play well
-Can adapt to any situation
-Overall entertaining by not having tor ely on 'x' amount of things


I am usually the first person to tell someone to stay away from Ele, but since you're not looking for a raid spot I think you might like it!

Solo-ability: CHECK. I solo warbringers, old raids, rares, whatever the hell I want. The offhealing capability is incredible for soloing. Elementals can either tank or dps for you, bloodlust at your disposal, shield, and 2 reasonably strong defensive cds to save you when you're barely awake and get hit by a thunder crash.

Survival in PvP: half check? Ele is not the strongest in PvP (we can't all be god class) but it can definately hold its own. 2 defensive cds (if talented), a spell reflect/absorb in grounding, reasonable amount of snares (roots if talented), tremor totem, windwalk, decent offheals and a short cd ranged interrupt. The tools are there, they aren't the best, but they can do the job.

Burst on Demand: There is no better spec for burst on demand than ele shaman sans frost frost mages (mostly because their burst revolves around a stun and thats just broken but I digress). A big red ascendance monster chain casting lava bursts is probably one of the most deadly things to see sans its brother enhancement version. Downside, it is easily dealt with (just as mage is) with an interrupt or a cc.

Unique: For sure. This spec is all about RNG, procs and managing your shocks. There are totems and ridiculous amounts of utility at your finger tips. You like flashy buttons and pew pewing lava and lazers? Who doesnt?!

Formidable: It can be, but be warned. You will get upset playing this spec. NOTHING beats the feeling of landing that perfect capacitor totem, though... (except maybe killing someone in a stun coughcough).

Adaptable: Few come close to the adaptability of an elemental shaman. Elementals give you a lot to work with (Primal earth even has a stun and can be used defensively). So much of your utility is group wide, you bring a lot of buffs, and you have crazy burst healing potential.

Entertaining: Hits fast and reasonably hard, procs and when you get that drool worthy rng someone dies (maybe you still but... yknow). If you are in the market for a caster, Ele shaman should definately be given atleast a chance.
Edited by Subtitles on 5/1/2013 11:20 PM PDT
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I am usually the first person to tell someone to stay away from Ele, but since you're not looking for a raid spot I think you might like it!

Solo-ability: CHECK. I solo warbringers


How!? When they could be snared I could do it with Frost Shock kiting, but now it's unpossible.

And to address the OP, if you want to have fun, pick Ele. If you want to win, don't pick Ele.
Edited by Mungoh on 5/2/2013 1:07 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
4380
One thing if you decide to go mage. Be prepared to deal with the stigma of the class. Everyone complains about mages being faceroll, op, noob class, etc. Is it true? Nah, I've played a lot of characters to max level across 3 accounts and mages aren't any easier or harder to play than any of the other DPS class. Mages could be thoroughly awful and I think people would complain.
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90 Gnome Mage
10820
Go mage!

Raiding... u have zip utility so u never have to do anything, no one even eats our food any more. Squishy as all get out so if u die its cause u lack decent cd's. Blame heals for not paying more attention to u! :P (note - may not go over so well)

And best part is, at the end of the raid u spam your portals for portal roulette. Everyone loves that!!! (note - almost no one likes that)
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90 Pandaren Priest
8480
04/29/2013 07:35 PMPosted by Woaden
Shadow survivability is not gonna be as good as lock or mage in 5.3


Meet me in the playground after school.


*Aura changes to red* Hey you two, don't make me raise my voice. And Woaden, stop eatting the glue again!!!
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90 Undead Mage
11635
For the time being, Warlocks utterly dominate mages in PVE and PVP. Warlock survivability in PVP is legendary right now. Nearly impossible to be killed by mages with their health recovery and sheilds.

Mages are just in a really poor spot right now with our clunky 90 talents, completely rooted playstyle (if you want to maximize dps anyway), and terrible stat scaling (Frost is the only viable PVE spec until you hit around 520 i level/40% crit, then Fire is good again).

Blizz essentially wrecked mages in 5.1 and 5.2 by completely changing the playstyle of two of our three specs, and we haven't really recovered as a class yet. Removal of dot spreading and nerfs to combustion hurt fire badly, and Blizzard's removal of scorch weaving (a genius adaptation made by the mage community) really hurt arcane as well.

Locks are just OP'd beasts right now, but that is likely to change (see mage's fall from grace in two patches) as things always do. Pick what you like best, but I would definately choose Lock in your situation, and I've been a mage since BC.
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90 Human Priest
12075
*Aura changes to red* Hey you two, don't make me raise my voice. And Woaden, stop eatting the glue again!!!


*ahem*

It's not glue, it's PASTE.

Huge difference.
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