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Spiritual Guidance: Disc Priest gives Arcane Mages 600+ spellpower

Matt Low

Every Sunday (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new UI blog for all classes. Today, Matt teams up with Arcane Mages to deliver some serious pain!

It's not very often I write posts about DPS. It becomes even more rare when I write about Mages. My only wish out of Mages is for them to learn another rank of Conjurable food and water.It's at the point now where I need to consume two of them to get a full mana bar back nearly.

But Priests, lend me your ears!

As I was working my way through Ulduar earlier in the week, I received a whisper from one of them Mages. He requested that I spam him with Power Word: Shield as often as possible. He wanted to try something out on the Deconstructor encounter. The raid got ripped up in the first try but we were able to shut him out on the second. I asked the Mage to stick around after the raid so we can have a chat about what happened and if the effects were what he was hoping for.

Here's what we talked about.

Incanter's Absorption

Arcane Mages have a talent called Incanter's Absorption.

Incanter's Absorption
Rank 3

When you absorb damage your spell damage is increased by 15% of the amount absorbed for 10 sec. Total spell damage increase cannot exceed 5% of your health.

I think you can see where I'm going from with this. Let's look at Power Word: Shield closely.

Power Word: Shield and it's bonuses

Power Word: Shield
Rank 14

Draws on the soul of the party member to shield them, absorbing 2230 damage. Lasts 30 sec. While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. Once shielded, the target cannot be shielded again for 15 sec.

WoW Wiki suggests that it receives an ~80.68% bonus from spell power.

Twin Disciplines
Rank 5

Increases the damage and healing done by your instant spells by 5%.

I believe Twin Disciplines increases the amount of damage absorbed by the shield as well.

Improved Power Word: Shield
Rank 3

Increases the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by 15%.

Admiral Ackbar would be jealous by now.

Focused Power
Rank 2

Increases damage and healing done by your spells by 4%. In addition, your Mass Dispel cast time is reduced by 1 sec.

Hmm, amount absorbed is still going up.

Borrowed Time
Rank 5

Grants 25% spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield, and increases the amount absorbed by your Power Word: Shield equal to 40% of your spell power.

Holy that's a lot of preventive fire power going on! Now I don't know exactly what the final number is. But I daresay it's way over 2230. I have spellpower that's around the ~2300 mark.

My math isn't that great so I'm going to pull a guestimate of the amount of damage that a shield absorbs to be in the 4000 range. The Mage earlier happened to notice that one of the shields I cast on him was able to absorb 6000.

Anyway, 15% of 4000 is 600.


Your Arcane Mage is getting spellpower boosts of 600 every 15 seconds or so.

Okay, if you really want to get all nitpicky about it you can. It's true that in order for this to work, your Mage has to take lots of damage often. It's a great thing we have a raid instance like Ulduar where raid damage is a dime a dozen! We've taken on two bosses now where this becomes feasible:

  • XT-002 Deconstructor: Tympanic Tantrums, Light Bomb, Gravity Bomb
  • Kologarn: Shockwave

For Deconstructor, obviously Mages want to avoid Light Bombs as much as possible. But most of the time, players will take a tick or two before the affected player gets out of range. When hit with Gravity Bomb, they're about to take a lot of incoming damage anyway which is guaranteed to use up the entire shield. Tympanic Tantrums are also another form of shield consumption.

For Kologarn, his Left arm will proceed to sweep and Shockwave the raid every so often. If the Disc Priest manages to shield the Arcane Mage, odds are good they're going to get hit by a Shockwave consuming the bubble. There is a level of timing and luck involved and it may not be as surefire as an encounter like Deconstructor is.

Final thoughts

Obviously this is only going to work on some fights and not others. Raid encounters that are tank and spanks where it's unlikely for your Mage to get hit, this technique won't work as well. But on fights where raid damage is all but a certainty, this technique is worth exploring. Coordinate with your Mage(s) if they plan on trying to pull this off. Your priority should continue to be on your main healing assignment. If you can sneak shields off on Arcane Mages, then feel free to do so.

As a comparison, I checked the charts after the raid to see how significant of a DPS spread this would be between all 3 excellent Mages. What better way to run an experiment when those you're experimenting on don't even know they're participating in your secret study!

Mage spec DPS Damage done
Frostfire Mage ~4200 1.4 Million
Arcane Mage (No Incanter's) ~4700 1.5 Million
Arcane Mage (Yes Incanter's) ~5700 1.8 Million

This is actually a pretty lame scientific study. I only had a sample size of 1 attempt which turned out to be a kill with only 3 participants. But all Mages are within a percentage point of each other on Patchwerk (using similar specs). Gear levels of all of them are also roughly the same. In fact, the only way you can tell them apart is by their race (Gnome vs Humans).

Hope you guys find this piece of information useful! I'd love to hear some results and feedback from Mages and Priests who happen to be trying this out.

Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know! And don't forget to check out our other Leveling Guides as well as our Wrath Guides and Galleries!

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