Molten Armor and Glyph of Molten Armor
When this spell and its glyph were first altered, they offered a max conversion rate for spirit to crit rating of 40% (25% from Molten Armor and 15% from the glyph). You needed at least 575 spirit fully buffed for this not to be a nerf.
The latest PTR build has increased the crit rating gained by spirit from Molten Armor to 35%, and its glyph to 20%. Let me get out my abacus and slide-rule...carry the one...divide by zero...yep, that means we can now get a total of 55% of our spirit as crit rating.
So how much spirit do we need now? Well, to get back to the 5% this spell and its glyph used to give us, we need 418 spirit at level 80. That's not bad at all. You'll pick up that much spirit without even trying with the current itemization, unless you're actively avoiding it. If you've been picking up a lot of spirit for some reason, you're going to be in very good shape once the patch hits. That same 575 spirit that we needed a week ago just to get back to 5% crit? This week it would give you almost 7% crit. I don't even need my abacus to tell me that 7% is 2 whole percent more than 5%. Okay, who am I kidding...I totally needed my abacus for that.
This new 55% conversion rate is really nice, and it will only get nicer as we progress into Ulduar. This change means that our spirit will scale quite favorably going forward, to the point that the stat is actually quite valuable for Mages. Instead of it being an albatross around our necks--yet another stat we're now forced to pay attention to--spirit is now of relatively high value to us. It's not quite up there with crit rating or intellect or anything like that, but when that General Vezax drops the Mantle of the Unknowing in 25-man Ulduar, we have as much a right to it as the Priest does.
Now, clearly all of this is still in flux. Blizzard appears set on converting spirit to crit rating for Mages who use Molten Armor, but the actual amount of crit we get is atill subject to change. By the time this change goes live, we could easily be getting more or less crit from Molten Armor than we do as of this writing on the PTR. But for now, I'm relatively happy with the numbers. 418 spirit is not terribly hard to get, and 55% will scale nicely with the spirit we pick up as we delve deeper into the end-game. Lets cross our collective fingers and hope we don't get screwed. And yes, I'm aware that you could give the same admonition to a group of people getting bussed off to prison. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Improved Scorch/Winter's Chill
The selfish buff I mentioned in Wednesday's post is still in effect for these two spells. It still sucks that these were chopped in half in the first place, but at least Blizzard is willing to throw us a small bone.
- Improved Scorch: Increased critical strike chance is now 1%, down from 2% per application of the Improved Scorch effect. In addition, the critical strike chance of Scorch, Fireball, and Frostfire Bolt is increased by 1/2/3%.
- Winter's Chill: Increased critical strike chance is now 1%, down from 2% per application of Winter's Chill. In addition, the critical strike chance of Frostbolt is increased by 1/2/3%.
So the raid still loses 5% crit, but at least Mages are getting 3% of that back for their main nukes. It's better than a kick in the face. Slightly.
The nice part of this selfish buff is that the 3% crit for our main nukes is entirely passive. It requires no casting of Scorch
to apply. It's always up. So even if you forget to keep Improved Scorch stacked for some reason, the raid will still lose its 5% crit debuff, but you'll be sitting pretty with your 3% Frostfire Bolt
crit buff. Who needs the rest of the raid anyway, right? Wait, that came out wrong.Living Bomb
One last change that bears mentioning is the massive buff to Living Bomb that appears to have gone up with this last PTR build. Word on the street--and my own suspicion--is that this may well be unintended--a bug--but we'll see. The base damage on the final explosion this spell triggers is up by more than double, from 306 to 690. That's a whole lot of buff to a spell that already does a sizable amount of damage. I'm not complaining, mind you. In fact, I'm going to shut up right now, just in case...
You know what, screw it. This spell is the 51 point talent for the Fire tree. It should
be doing a crapload of damage. Mages are supposedly the kings of AoE, right? Right?In closing...
I'm no longer worried, to be quite honest. Our damage is good now, and getting better on the PTR. We're still in a much better place right now as a class than we ever were during Burning Crusade
. Blizzard has thrown some nerfs our direction, but they're also proving to be fairly reasonable about balancing them out over time.
In fact, I think I'm through devoting full column to these weekly changes. In the future, though I'll still be mentioning new stuff, I'll do it in the course of a column about something else. Of course, if the change is a big one, something warranting the extra coverage, I'll give it the space it's due. If next week Polymorph
gains the ability to turn Warlocks into tamable pets, you can bet I'll be cranking out a couple thousand words on that change. But if Molten Armor gets buffed or nerfed another 5% or whatever, that'll get a paragraph at the end or something. I want to do some more stuff, like an updated Mage profession guide or a PvP-centric column or something. Any suggestions for what you'd like to see in this space? If you offer me no ideas, you have only yourselves to blame when next week's column is all about
Every week Arcane Brilliance teleports you inside the wonderful world of Mages and then hurls a Fireball in your face. Check out our recent guide to gearing your Mage for Naxxramas, or our look at a few ideas for dual speccing your Mage. Until next week, keep the Mage-train a-rollin'.