Can an experienced Mage please help me decide

Mage
hello fourms :D, i am new to playing a mage this x pack and i really want to get into raiding and other pve things. before i do i wanted the opinions of some experienced mages about the three specs. right now i play frost, and i love frost with a passion, but its damage/dps is nowhere near what arcane is putting out at my ilvl, i just wanted to ask the mage community three questions,

A). can i be a successful raider as a frost mage? or do i have to switch?

B). if i did switch to arcane, do i have to use prismatic crystal? thats the main reason i hate arcane, it seems like a really "jenky" talent and its not something i really want to deal with.

C).is there an addon or anything that can help remind me to put rune of power down? or even just to help get it down? i always seem to forget.
Before im going to answer any of these things directly, im going to offer you a bit of advice:

If you want to be a good raider, a real SUCCESSFUL raider, you are going to have to do things that stink.

You are going to have to play multiple specs. You're going to have to switch specs between tiers, bosses, farm nights, progression, etc. You're going to have to take different talents based on fight and know how to use each one WELL to do good dps.

If all you're going to do is LFR, then ignore any and all advice from anyone because it doesn't matter. But if you TRUELY care about improving and being a good raider, you're going to have to move outside of your comfort zone. Going "half way" on it is just as bad as not trying at all.

I can give you advice, I can tell you whats true, but in the end, you need to decide what YOU want to do and what YOU are willing to sacrifice - fun/comfort, or high DPS and contributing to your group/ high progression along in raiding beyond LFR/ crappy pugs.

Onto the questions:

A) At low ilvls/in highmaul, frost is just fine. Higher ilvls, No. Switching will result in better DPS. This may switch in up in 6.2 as I have heard frost does well on 2-cleave fights over arcane/fire, but arcane will still be godly single target, and fire still amazing AoE. Not 100% on next patch though, so as it stands in this patch though, frost is not viable for raiding at a "serious" level.

B) Yes you need to use PC. You need to use PC for frost as well for ST fights. Fire is the only one that can be saved from it (you can run PC with fire on ST/ if you want to play the RNG gods, but it's not required).

C) Yes - weak auras. Just google "Rune of power Weak Auras" and copy strings into the addon. You should be using WA in general to track trinket/class procs as well as fight abilities.

Hopefully this helps.
Kuni plays both Frost and Arcane, and is 10/10M, so I imagine it's doable. I personally haven't tried it however.

Currently Prismatic Crystal is currently the best talent in it's tier for single target fights. It's not that difficult to use once you've played around with it for a couple of days. There's plenty of guides on how to use it properly as Arcane so I won't go into it here.

The bright side however is that Frost is getting some sizable damage buffs come 6.2, and the better gear means more Multistrike. So I definitely think Frost will be a viable raiding spec come Hellfire Citadel. It most likely won't be on par with Arcane when it comes to pure single target damage, but not being bored an entire raiding tier is definitely a good trade off.

Kuni's Armory: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/stormrage/kuni/simple
Kuni's Frost Guide: http://altered-time.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1118
At your gear level running mirror images and comet storm is fine. You don't have to worry about placing the rune or the prismatic crystal. Just use Mirrors when you use Icy Veins and win.

Doesn't seem like you've done more than LFR in the past but even if you get into Normal raids Frost will do well. It's not until Heroic and Mythic raids that you would need to ponder changing specs and even then you 'could' still viably run frost if you do it well.
06/13/2015 11:08 PMPosted by Zödiäc
A). can i be a successful raider as a frost mage? or do i have to switch?
Depends on the level of content. For LFR or Normal, Frost will be fine. However, once you start competing with people who have tier bonuses etc, you'll find that Frost falls a long way behind very quickly. For what it's worth, I was really not keen on having to switch from Frost, but it was worth it. I really enjoy both Arcane and Fire at the moment. Also, by making the switch to Arcane you also run Fire for AoE fights (using Mastery gear) so you only really play Arcane for half the fights.

06/13/2015 11:08 PMPosted by Zödiäc
B). if i did switch to arcane, do i have to use prismatic crystal?
No more than you would as Frost. Basically most single target fights you'll want PC but it's so much easier to use as Arcane than it is as Frost. With a bit of practice, PC is very easy to use as Arcane. There's very little "ramp up" time and you aren't sitting there waiting for the right procs etc. Even better, PC typically lines up with your "burn" phase so it's pretty mindless. Gruul, Oregorger, Flamebender, Kromog are the fights I'd use PC. The other fights I either run as Fire because they're cleave/AoE fights or I run with a different talent because of the fight mechanics (AO is amazing on Blast Furnace, and OP works well on Blackhand).

06/13/2015 11:08 PMPosted by Zödiäc
C).is there an addon or anything that can help remind me to put rune of power down? or even just to help get it down? i always seem to forget.
Some people have WeakAuras set up for their runes, I personally just use the MageNuggets addon. It shows a little (moveable) icon with a timer on it for your RoP, and it flashes if you aren't standing in it. However, RoP isn't used on the majority of fights anyway. It's great for Gruul, Ore and Darmac (some people swear by it on Kromog and Flamebender but I've had too much RNG on those fights screw me over hard) but the other fights are better with Incanter's Flow.

06/14/2015 01:21 AMPosted by Sele
Kuni plays both Frost and Arcane, and is 10/10M, so I imagine it's doable.
It's certainly doable, but for your average player it's not a great option. Just take a look at the logs (WoL or WCL) for Mages in the 70th percentile (Kuni would be 99th) and you'll see that Arcane and Fire are blitzing Frost.
I remember reading a post a while back from someone who ranked #7 (99th percentile) in the world for Frost doing 48k on Hanz. This week I ranked in the 85th percentile as Fire and did 53k. So it's not to say that Frost can't pull some amazing damage (Mythic is also a lot about not taking excessive damage rather than pure output) but unless you're one of those utterly amazing players it's highly unlikely it will be bring you more than you would get as Arcane or Fire.
06/14/2015 10:48 PMPosted by Tuckletuts
I remember reading a post a while back from someone who ranked #7 (99th percentile) in the world for Frost doing 48k on Hanz. This week I ranked in the 85th percentile as Fire and did 53k.

Just to add a data point, my 63k Fire parse this week on Mythic was still only 95th percentile, rank 407.
06/14/2015 10:48 PMPosted by Tuckletuts
It's certainly doable, but for your average player it's not a great option. Just take a look at the logs (WoL or WCL) for Mages in the 70th percentile (Kuni would be 99th) and you'll see that Arcane and Fire are blitzing Frost.

As a humorous aside, he's actually 66th percentile because there are only 5 total Mythic Blackhand parses up for Frost, and #4-5 were carries.
https://www.warcraftlogs.com/rankings/7#boss=1704&class=Mage&spec=Frost
06/13/2015 11:46 PMPosted by Xiun
B) Yes you need to use PC. You need to use PC for frost as well for ST fights. Fire is the only one that can be saved from it (you can run PC with fire on ST/ if you want to play the RNG gods, but it's not required).


Depends on the fight.
In rough terms, prismatic crystal will give you a much larger initial burst.
Thermal void with your tier set however will give you a much longer burst.
Which is better depends on the fight. And everything will probably change in 6.2

It's also worth remembering that seeing large dps is great, but ultimately all that matters is downing the boss. That doesn't necessarily always mean high dps numbers though.

A couple of examples:
- On mythic Hans&Franz, lots of groups timewarp at the start to avoid the initial smart stomping phase. An alternative is to save timewarp for later, but that means you get more pop tarts, and it's wise to stop dps altogether to allow the pop tart maze to go by so you can position yourself for the 2nd set of smart stampers. This kills everyone's dps rankings obviously, but it's a valid strategy.

- On mythic Kromog, the only targets that really matter are the pillars, and Kromog himself. If everyone is sucessfully getting out of hands, then the damage done to them is irrelevant number padding. This is made doubly worse for any mages who decide to ice block each of the knock up phases, as they do no dps for about 8 seconds, but prevent a 1.5 million HP add from spawning. The add you don't have to kill does not show up on the dps meters, but the iceblock time does - this lowers your ranking on the meters by at least 6k overall dps or more. But on mythic, breaking yourself out by launching a frozen orb is a big no-no, otherwise you will not be able to burst down and kill the pillars which lead to a wipe. On Kromog it is very easy to pull 10k dps more overall than someone else in the same spec, but be responsible for the wipe even if both players are targetting the right targets.
06/14/2015 01:21 AMPosted by Sele
Kuni plays both Frost and Arcane, and is 10/10M, so I imagine it's doable. I personally haven't tried it however.

Kuni does not play Arcane.
06/15/2015 04:05 PMPosted by Komma
06/14/2015 01:21 AMPosted by Sele
Kuni plays both Frost and Arcane, and is 10/10M, so I imagine it's doable. I personally haven't tried it however.

Kuni does not play Arcane.

Seconding. I have Arcane subspec to spam AE in lowbie instances. I hauled Frost through 10/10M on all progression fights except for Thogar, which I could have done but wanted to see how stupid Fire's 2p was.
06/19/2015 04:59 PMPosted by Kuni
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Kuni does not play Arcane.

Seconding. I have Arcane subspec to spam AE in lowbie instances. I hauled Frost through 10/10M on all progression fights except for Thogar, which I could have done but wanted to see how stupid Fire's 2p was.


Out of curiosity Kuni, why doesn't your guild dictate the spec you play?

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