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Build Shop: Mage 10/47/3

Chris Jahosky

Welcome back to Build Shop! After a two week hiatus to spend time with my family over the holidays, I'm back and ready to get down to some good old fashioned discussion about builds. This week we're discussing a Mage build, something that hasn't been done in a long, long time. For awhile now, Fire has been the tree of choice for the raiding mage (though some vets will remember fire-unfriendly MC and BWL). Although Fire isn't the only spec for raiding, it is the build I'm examining today.

So what makes Fire so great? Well, this build picks up all the damage-increasing talents in the Fire tree, some goodies from the Arcane tree, and even gives you a free point to put wherever you want. Hey, no one can say I'm not generous. Alright, so actually I'm not generous, there just seems to be no general consensus on where to put it, so I'm leaving it up to you. Without further ado, let's jump right in and take a look at what makes this build tick.

Arcane (10 points)

  • Arcane Subtlety (2/2) - Reduces the threat from your Arcane spells by 40% and your target's resistance to all your spells by 10. You likely won't be using any of your Arcane spells too often with this build, but to be perfectly honest -- I'm spending these first 5 points to get to Arcane Concentration, in the second tier of the tree.
  • Arcane Focus (3/5) - Increases your chance to hit with Arcane spells by 6%. Again, you probably won't be using Arcane spells that much, but these points were necessary to get...
  • Arcane Concentration (5/5) - Easily one of my favorite things ever. AC gives you a 10% chance anytime one of your damaging spells hits a target to enter the Clearcasting state, which reduces the mana cost of your next spell by 100%.

Fire (47 points)
  • Improved Fireball (5/5) - Reduces the casting time of your Fireball by half a second. Faster casts mean more damage in less time.
  • Ignite (5/5) - Your fire spell crits will now cause 40% of the spell's damage to burn the target over 4 seconds with this talent.
  • Flame Throwing (2/2) - Increases the range of your fire spells by 6 yards. Being able to stay further away from your target gives you some additional flexibility.
  • Incineration (2/2) - Increases your chance to crit with Scorch and and Fire Blast by 4%.
  • Pyroblast (1/1) - A fireball on steroids. The increased damage comes with an equally increased cast time -- 6 seconds. Primarily used as an opener in PvP when you can swing it, but not quite as popular in raids.
  • Burning Soul (2/2) - Increases your chance to not lose cast time when damaged by 70% while casting Fire spells, and reduces the threat generated by Fire spells by 10%. You shouldn't be taking too much direct damage in a raid, but the threat reduction is invaluable.
  • Improved Scorch (3/3) - One of the key talents in this build, Improved Scorch adds a debuff to your Scorch spell that increases Fire damage taken by 3% and stacks up to 5 times. Other magi in the group or raid can help keep this fully stacked at all times, increasing fire damage by 15%.
  • Master of Elements (3/3) - Your crits from Fire and Frost spells will refund 30% of their mana cost to cast.
  • Playing with Fire (3/3) - Increases all spell damage done and all spell damage taken by 3%.
  • Critical Mass (3/3) - Increases your chance to crit with Fire spells by 6%. A fantastic talent, and a prerequisite to Combustion.
  • Blast Wave (1/1) - An AoE attack that causes fire damage and dazes targets for 6 seconds.
  • Fire Power (5/5) - Increases fire damage dealt by 10%.
  • Pyromaniac (3/3) - Increases the chance to crit with fire spells and the mana cost of fire spells by 3%.
  • Combustion (1/1) - On a 3 minute cooldown, and should be used with caution. Once activated, this causes each fire spell you cast to increase your chance to crit with fire spells by 10% until you've crit 3 times.
  • Molten Fury (2/2) - Another great talent. This one increases the damage you deal with all your spells by 20% once your target drops below 20% health. Great for helping to burn down a target quickly.
  • Empowered Fireball (5/5) - Adds another 15% to your Fireball spell damage coefficient.
  • Dragon's Breath (1/1) - Fire's answer to Frost's Cone of Cold. This spell causes fire damage in a cone in front of the caster, but also disorients targets for 3 seconds. Not the most useful talent in a raid, but nice to have nonetheless.

Frost (3 points)
  • Elemental Precision (3/3) - Reduces the mana cost of and increases your chance to hit with your Fire and Frost spells by 3%.

As I said earlier, there should be 1 point leftover, so you can put it wherever you like. A popular choice seems to be to put it into Improved Fire Blast, but it's up to you!

That wraps up this edition of Build Shop, but I'll be back again next week! What do you want to see on Build Shop? Send me an email with your questions or comments, and we'll talk shop.

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