Frostfire what?

Posted: 7 August, 2008 in Mage, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King
Tags: , , ,

I’ve got to be honest with you, I have almost no idea which way Calli’s going to spec when Wrath of the Lich King ships.  The one thing I do know is that it won’t be Fire.  Well…  the way Fire seems to be shaping up as the lolspec gimmick tree, that is.

Obviously we can’t tell yet exactly how things are going to end up, and I’ve had a play around with the talent calculators over at WoWhead as I’m sure we all have; but if we can’t say precisely where things are going to end up, we can at least see how things have developed since the closed alpha and get a pretty good idea of the way Blizzard intend things to go.  Fire, the raiding build of choice since after Blackwing Lair, is not looking very competitive in Wrath.  Well, that’s not strictly true.  It is possible to make a decent raiding build of sorts with Fire, you just have to avoid all the gimmick aoe talents.  The problem you then find yourself with is twofold:

1.  You’re arguably worse off than you are with the current cookie cutter 02/48/11 Fire/Icy Veins spec.
2.  Deep Arcane beats seven different shades of shit out of Deep Fire.

Let’s see what Deep Arcane gets us:

1.  40% reduced threat on Arcane spells
2.  80 resistance to all schools of magic
3.  2% of your total mana back on any spell you resist
4.  Clearcasting
5.  The very awesome Focus Magic
6.  30% mana regen while casting, even with Molten Armour
7.  15% more Intellect
8.  Presence of Mind
9.  3% extra spell damage and crit chance
10.  Arcane Power
11.  50% crit damage bonus on ALL spells
12.  Spellpower increased by 25% of your Intellect
13.  6% native spell haste
14.  Arcane Barrage

Two words spring to mind looking at all of that, and they’re both “pew”.  Best of all, you can get all of that at level 65.  By the time you’re 80 you’ll have 15 points left to blow on the Fire or Frost trees.

And this is where things get confusing.

See, no-one knows for sure yet, as far as I’m aware, what your best nuke would be in Wrath.  It could be Fireball, backed up by all those lovely Arcane Talents and with the remaining 15 points stuck in the Fire tree for Ignite and all that good stuff.  I mean, imagine a Fireball that crits for the amount of damage you currently get from the hit and the ignite tick combined, and then Ignite procs AS WELL!  Zomg!  The confusing issue is Frostfire Bolt.  I admit I’m far from being an expert on this stuff, but if I read things correctly, Frostfire Bolt is neither a Fire nor a Frost spell, but it can deal either Fire OR Frost damage, and gets all the bonuses associated with BOTH your Fire and Frost talents that affect Fire or Frost damage.  It’s at this point that you probably need to go over the talent tree with a fine toothcomb and check the small print.  Anything that affects Fire or Frost SPELLS isn’t going to affect Frostfire bolt.  Anything that affects Fire or Frost DAMAGE, will affect Frostfire bolt.

Okay, example time.
Ignite 5/5.  Critical strikes from your Fire damage spells cause the target to burn for an additional 40% of your spell’s damage over 4 seconds.  This WILL apply to Frostfire Bolt.
Burning Soul 2/2.  Gives your Fire spells a 70% chance to not lose casting time when you take damage and reduces the threat caused by your Fire spells by 10%.   Sorry, doesn’t apply to Frostfire bolt.

So you can see where the confusion lies.  There isn’t a single talent in there that applies directly to Frostfire Bolt, so it’s difficult to make direct comparsions.  But there are any number of talents in there that apply indirectly to Frostfire Bolt.  There’s so little info coming out of the beta for Mages that I can see, and it’s very difficult to make any kind of informed choice.  Of course, all of this could change and probably will change long before we mortals get to play with it.  However, if anyone out there knows more than I do or can see anything obviously wrong with anything I’ve said, please feel free to leave a comment.
All I can say for certain is that as things stand, a deep Arcane spec with Ignite from Fire using either Fireball or Frostfire Bolt for some pew pew between Arcane Barrage cooldowns is looking mighty tasty for Wrath raiding.

  1. gnomeaggedon says:

    Nice posts going on here!

    I am glad I am generally keeping my head low for WoLK…

    Apart from anything else I will be at best around for the opening days, but most likely wont reappear until it has been live for 1-2 months.

    So plenty of time for me to come back and read up (on blogs like this) about possible directions for my little Fire Mage

  2. Larísa says:

    A deep arcane spec… Did you hear that gnome? Did you hear that?

    Don’t count on that you’ve won this brand new blogger to the fire side… I may get an allied after all. 🙂

  3. pewpewlazerz says:

    Well don’t count your chickens yet, Fire in Wrath originally looked like a bucket full of junk, then one patch later it’s looking ok but way too full of gimmicks. I’m sure there will be further changes, but it’s hard to see how it’s going to compete with Arcane unless Arcane gets a good beating with the nerfstick (which is always possible). If Frost had any decent spell pushback protection other than the small window you get from Icy Veins I’d spec Frost for raiding in a heartbeat. I’m a Frosty at heart, then Curator in Kara forced me to respec to something that allowed me to get a main nuke off in under 8 seconds thanks to spell pushback. I’ve definitely been seduced by the zomgwtfpewpew! big numbers from Fire since, though. 😉

  4. krizzlybear says:

    @PPL: Thankfully, Tier 4 set bonuses make frost oh so attractive. I find it ironic though, that the gear that would you against curator drops from him in the first palce.

  5. pewpewlazerz says:

    It IS ironic, isn’t it? I was never a big fan of Tier 4 gear, however. There were other drops even in Kara that were better, and once I’d switched to Fire I din’t need that 2-piece bonus. The only piece of Tier 4 I ever owned were the shoulders, and I replaced them with Tier 5 from Void Reaver a week later. So yeah, two pieces of Tier 4 are awesome for Frosties, but it’s a rare Frost mage who manages to stay Frost and get Curator down when he’s still progression content.

    Now the Druid and Rogue Tier 4 bonus for two pieces, those are an entirely different matter. Those bonuses are pure 100% win.

  6. […] Pew Pew Lazers provides the following little summary: Frostfire Bolt is neither a Fire nor a Frost spell, but it can deal either Fire OR Frost damage, and gets all the bonuses associated with BOTH your Fire and Frost talents that affect Fire or Frost damage. […]

  7. pewpewlazerz says:

    Update: It seems Euripedes over at Critical QQ (linked in my Blogroll) has done some more investigation and in certain circumstances, stuff that affects Fire or Frost spells WILL affect Frostfire bolt? Clear as mud? Good.

  8. Larísa says:

    I may be stupid, ignorant and a newbie player but I actually loved the T4 bonus when I was a fire mage. For farming purposes it was great to be able to nuke without any interruptions when the basilisks in terrokar for inatance came up close on me. but perhaps it was just me, doing something totally wrong.

    Now it’s a passed chapter. But I still use the T4 head! Wonder if I’ll get an opportunity to replace it befor expansion. Surely hope so, but you never know.

  9. pewpewlazerz says:

    Nothing stupid about it, the bonus is great for Fire or Frost, it’s just more useful for Frost because it’s the only spell pushback protection they’re going to get. 🙂

  10. AlexM says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  11. pewpewlazerz says:

    Thanks very much, Alex. Hope I don’t disappoint you.

  12. AlexM says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

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