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Arcane Brilliance: Gears of War, part 3

Amanda Rivera

As it turns out, there's a whole heap of great items out there for leveling mages. There's so very much available that sometimes it's hard to pick and choose what to look for at any given level. That's where we come in. The last couple of weeks we've been doing the research so you don't have to, coming up with suggestions for items that will help you in your quest for magey world domination.

As the levels get higher, the situation with mage gear gets more complicated. While on the one hand more options are open to you, selecting between those options becomes more important, as this is gear you will wear longer. Simply put, since it takes longer to level between levels 40 and 60 than it does to level between 20 and 40, the gear matters more.

It's at this point in the game that you want to start looking into getting some lower level enchants on your gear to give you the best possible performance out of your armor. If you happen to have trained in enchanting along with your tailoring, then you're ahead of the game.

Levels 41 - 50:

  1. Zum'rah's Vexing Cane: BOP, 40.9 DPS +10 sta, +10 int, +21 spell dmg and healing, level 42. This is one of the stronger staves for its level. Since it drops most of the time off the Witch Doctor Zum'rah in Zul'Farrak, why not pick up the Desertwalker Cane from Dustwraith while you're there, and become a dual wielding mage.
  2. Bad Mojo Mask: BOP, 57 armor, +12 int, +27 spell dmg and healing, level 44. This in an odd choice for a cloth head piece, being a voodoo mask and all, and drops rarely from Shadowpriest Sezz'ziz in Zul'Farrak. Until Patch 2.3 pushes through on Tuesday this headpiece is a Shadow damage item.
  3. Atal'ai Gloves: BOP, 47 armor, +9 spell dmg and healing [of Fiery Wrath] +27 Fire dmg, level 47. These gloves drop off of the summoning trolls in the interior of Sunken Temple. They have a random enchant, but the fiery wrath set are great for pyro mages.
  4. Embrace of the Wind Serpent:BOP, 98 armor, +9 sta, +17 int, +12 spi, + 35 spell dmg and healing, level 50. This robe is an uber rare drop off the Avatar of Hakkar in Sunken Temple. If you can get it to drop it's an awesome find, considering it's an epic item whose nature resist will be replaced by spell damage on Tuesday. On occasion the Avatar will also drop the Featherskin Cape, which has a nice + spell dmg stat after Patch 2.3.
  5. Dawnspire Cord: BOP, 43 armor, +13 int, +8 spi, +12 spell hit, level 48. Not so very illustrious before Patch 2.3, this belt that drops off the 4 named dragons in Sunken Temple is how a hot item with its sexy spell hit. It's a rare drop though, so be prepare to invest in some dragonslaying.
  6. Arbiter's Blade: BOP, 35.2 DPS, +8 sta, +5 int, +8 spell dmg and healing. A rare drop from Warder Stilgiss in Blackrock Depths, this is a main hand sword, and so great for pairing with your off-hand of choice. If you catch him, he also drops a great Frost mage mantle.
  7. Ban'thok Sash: BOP, 43 armor, +10 stam, +11 int, +8 spell hit, +12 spell damand and healing, level 49. This belt drops about half the time from Ok'thor the Breaker in Blackrock Depths, and is considered the best twink belt for the 40-49 bracket.
  8. Gloves of the Atal'ai Prophet: BOP, 49 armor +6 stam, +5 spi, +23 spell dmg and healing, level 50. Long before Patch 2.3 was even hinted at these gloves were the best my mage could get at their level, and she wore them for a long while (also they're pretty, which helps). They drop about a third of the time from Jammal'an the Prophet in Sunken Temple. While you're at it, snag his Kilt as well for some added spell damage.
  9. Chief Architect's Monocle: BOP, 64 armor, +10 sta, +15 int, +21 spell crit, level 50. This head piece drops a fourth of the time from Fineous Darvire in Blackrock Depths.

Levels 51- 58:

  1. Dragon's Eye:BOP +6 sta, +10 spi, +12 spell dmg and healing, level 51. Look for this neck piece to drop about a fourth of the time from Shade of Eranikus, the sleepy dragon in Sunken Temple.
  2. Flarethorn: BOP, 37.5 DPS, +5 int, +17 Fire dmg, level 52. This pyro mage's dagger drops about a sixth of the time from Gorosh the Dervish in Blackrock Depths.
  3. Circle of Flame: BOP, 85 armor, +20 sta, +18 spell dmg and healing, on use converts 75 health to mana every 1 sec for 10 sec, level 54. One of the nicest first resist items for its level is now an awesome spell damage piece. This drops super rarely from Ambassador Flamelash in Blackrock Depths, but if you manage to get it to drop, it will last you a good long while. He also drops a great spell damage trinket.
  4. Skyshroud Leggings: BOP 75 armor, +8 sta, +8 int, +34 spell dmg and healing, level 55. These legs drop from Highlord Omokk in Lower Blackrock Spire.
  5. Hands of Power: BOP, 53 armor, +6 spi, +6 int, +26 spell dmg and healing, level 55. These gloves drop from Quartermaster Zigris in LBRS.
  6. Trindlehaven Staff: BOP 52.1 DPIS, +25 int, +12 sta, +14 spell dmg and healing, level 56. Since you're most likely running LBRS all the way through, you will run into Overlord Wyrmthalak at the end of the instance. He drops this staff occasionally.
  7. Dragonic Infused Emblem: BOP, unique-equipped, on use increated spell dmg by up to 100 and healing by 190 for 15 sec., level 58. A lower-level trinket similar to the Vengeance of the Illidari, this is a rare drop off of General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire.
  8. Magister's Robes: BOP, 89 armor, +9 sta, +31 int, +8 spi, level 58. This is also a rare drop off of General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire. The Magister's Regalia set didn't used to be all that great, but now when you get 4 set pieces the bonus gives you an additional 23 spell damage. I recommend the boots, gloves, mantle as well as the robes for your 4/8 set simply because of the ease of acquisition.

At level 58 you enter into Outland, and from there on the gear you get will out level much of what you can acquire in Azeroth. For that reason, I held off on listing those items that would be considered level 59 and 60 mage gear. You'll notice that I stuck to instances as a way of getting gear, but you can also peruse the AH for bind on equip items that drop throughout the world. What it comes down to, though, is preparing your mage for that last run from 58-70, and at that point the gear game changes.

I mentioned in an earlier article that leveling your tailoring as you go with save you time and money later on, and there are several items you can make yourself as you level. I find though that the instance gear will be better for mages than what you can craft until you start building Netherweave items. Mageweave and Runecloth are a bear to farm, and when you are leveling you probably don't want to invest that amount of time in collecting cloth.

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