Focusing Your Magic- The Stats!
Whether it’s Fireballin’, Frostboltin’, Arcane Blastin’, or whatever else you throw at your opponents there is only one way to do it. And that’s the RIGHT way!
Before we start talking about the different specs and which is actually better, it would be best if we familiarized ourselves with the stats Mages search for in their gear! As anyone should know, there are many different stats that are helpful to each of the Mage specs. However, each spec is different in play style AND its wants/needs in terms of stats. So, let’s take a look at what we’re going to get to know!
For any of the “viable” specs the Spell Hit Cap is the MOST IMPORTANT GOAL. Now, with absolutely no Talents/Buffs, the hit cap for a Raid Boss is 17% Hit. This translates to be about 445.94 Hit Rating. However, as a Mage each of the specs will generally grab a % Hit Talent, meaning that you have a base amount of hit once you spec into these.
Arcane Focus is one in the 1st Tier of the Arcane Talents, with 3/3 points into it you get 3% more hit with ARCANE SPELLS! Most specs tend to grab Precision and with 3/3 points in that all of your spells get a 3% chance to hit. (IE 3% total Hit for everything).
This being so, Arcane Mages only need about 11% hit as the spec grabs both of these (3%+3% = 6%—-> 17%-6%=11%) whereas the other specs only “use” Precision which means they need 14% hit.The only exception to this is Fire with TtW which needs the full 17%, however it can pull some excellent DPS once the cap is reached!
Now, once you hit the cap for whatever spec you will be playing as you merely maintain that cap. Going past the cap is useless, so if you can take out any gems/enchants used to get to the cap that you can afford to change.
Aside from reaching the hit cap, Spell Power is like the friend that could very well be your best friend if your current best friend decided to stop talking to you. In other words, it’s the second best stat any Mage could hope for, or it is the best stat if you are hit capped!
We get SP (Spell Power) mainly from gear, gems, and enchants. This stat increases bonus Healing and bonus Damage, however for our case let’s just remember it as Damage. This does exactly as it says it does, it makes your spells more powerful thus directly increasing your DPS. As a pure DPS Class we tend to like it when our DPS is increased, so this stat is very good!
Stack it, love it, kiss it, hug it, just don’t neglect it because this is almost your best friend.
For every spec except Frost Fire Haste is the next important stat. Haste basically does just as it says, speeds up your abilities/spells, and in our case faster spells = more DPS! It is very wise to look into gemming for this stat (either SP/Haste or for some, just Haste) as we love it when our spells become faster.
Figure it this way, it is a fairly simple stat to understand, but it is one of the most important stats in the game for most of us Mages. It’s simply delicious!
Critical Strike Rating
Critical Strike Rating (Crit for short) is the 3rd most important stat for Frost Fire, or the 4th most for every other spec. Basically what it does, is that about every 45.91 Crit you get a 1% chance to Crit. Now, depending on the spell/ability this could double or increase your damage by a large amount. This stat makes for more frequent large damage attacks, which is always a good thing to have.
Now, let’s say you have a 35% chance to Crit. This does not mean that exactly 35% of the time you will land a critical spell. It does make the stat somewhat unreliable, but this does not down grade its worth at all. If it is on gear, you may as well take it, but for most of the specs you should not go around searching for pure Crit. (FFB should rate it a bit higher than Haste obviously)
Our last important DPS stat is Spirit. One thinks of Spirit as more of a Healer stat, and they should be somewhat correct to think that. However, for a Mage our Molten Armor gives us extra Crit depending on the amount of Spirit we have. Now, regardless of what you personally think Molten Armor should be used by ALL specs for PvE. Mage Armor isn’t as good as good ol’ Molten Armor, sorry but it’s the truth (it’s factual, everything is satisfactual)!
Spirit is the least “wanted” of our DPS stats, but we should not mind it if it comes on the gear. This means, if it is on an upgrade then that’s pretty sweet, but it should not determine which piece of gear is an upgrade over another. The crit it gives is nice, but the spirit/crit % ratio is not as good as the crit/crit % ratio!
Now you know what you’re getting into, I may as well be optimistic. The greatest thing about Mage DPS is that one can somewhat easily change their spec on a whim and be able to Raid with it. The hit caps are a bit different, but aside from that the stat priorities are extremely similar making a change in pace fairly easy to execute.
*Hand is raised*
Quick macro lesson-
/tar Noob Apprentice
Have a great week everyone, and be sure to tune into our Podcast tomorrow at around 430-5pm Eastern time!