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Squishy Leveling- 1-20

March 31, 2010

Jaws are for the weak.

Hopefully most of you have seen that I made another Warlock in the hopes that he may help me cope with my stupidity of deleting my old Warlock. I got him to level 14 last night with a friend of Alex’s who is leveling a Shaman with Lupose (the Warlock).

Anyways, the road has been fast due to some delicious, spectacular, certainly not a lie, gear that I have collected throughout journeys or more accurately, too many damn emblems to know what to do with.

Yes, I know I could buy gems, but sometimes I feel I should make an investment of this sort should be made in case I actually decide to level another character (which lately seems to be an inevitability).

Let me say this, I remember leveling my Priest, and even more recently my Mage and the first 20 levels are probably your worst. Clothies are squishy at any level, but during those first 20 levels many of the tools to escape death are either a) not good enough or b) possibly aren’t even there.

In my case, the Warlock is a bit of an exception as I get a Tank at level 10, but it can still be a brutal beginning. That Voidwalker can only keep a hold of 1-2 mobs and his threat may just not be enough for you. Every other clothy does not have the luxury of a controllable Tank  so there is something we all must learn to do at the low levels.

Kite/Avoid Damage/Use your abilities wisely!

Mage

For the Mages we’re 1) VERY squishy and 2) Don’t have a very forgiving amount of Spell cost:Mana Ratio. Of course this will even out as you begin to get gear that doesn’t suck, but the weakness does not go away until the early 60’s late 50’s. The tools we have prior to level 20 are Frost Nova, Frostbolt, and of course, Polymorph.

Frost Nova is a useful tool that I still have on my bars at lvl 80 in PvP (of course) AND PvE. What it does is it sends out a wave of cold emitting from the Mage to everything within a few yards of it. From there it freezes enemies in place for an 8 second duration. You can do damage to the target, but there is a chance for it to unfreeze depending on how much damage is done.

The best way to use your Frost Nova is when you need to get some space between you and the target. Drop the nova, run for a couple of seconds and then start Frost Bolting again. It does have a 25 second cool down so be sure to use it when it is actually needed.

In all honesty I’d suggest using Frostbolt as much as possible as it is both cheap and it has a delicious movement slowing effect that you must cherish. The object of the Mage at this level is to be as far away from their enemies as physically possible, and the movement speed definitely helps us reach this goal. Besides, the damage isn’t half bad either.

Polymorph is a CC (Crowd Control) spell which stops the target from doing ANYTHING. The downside to Polymorph is that it also rapidly increases HP and Mana regeneration while the target is polymorphed. This is an ideal spell if you have more than 1 mob aggroed. With this you can keep a mob out of your hair while you take down the other (or others). Make sure you do not polymorph the mob that you are attacking since you REALLY don’t want to have your target regain its HP while you’re attempting to kill it.

Priest

The Priest is a peculiar animal, he is generally looked upon as the main target for anyone who is anyone. Needless to say we get almost as much hate from mobs as Warlocks do from platies in PVP (*cough Dylan cough*). Any who, the Priest is about just as squishy as the Mage, but they do have a bit of an edge over the Mage when it comes to damage.

They can absorb/heal the damage done to them fairly easily and without much cost of their DPS. Through their Renew/Lesser Heal/Heal they can heal any damage done to them in a flash, and with abilities like Power Word: Shield and Psychic Scream enemies will die wondering why their attacks were a waste of time.

The three heals you get while leveling through levels 1-20 are going to be your best friends regardless of being Shadow/Holy/Disc. Aside from Renew, the two Heals take a couple of seconds to cast so you are going to have to plan them accordingly. Taking Lesser Heal for example, it is a 2 second cast without any haste, and with this we must figure around .5 extra seconds because something is hitting you. You’ll want to figure about 2.5-3 seconds worth of extra damage is done to you.

What I mean is, watch your Health Bar, once it hits around 40%-50% HP you will want to start casting your Lesser Heal/Heal. Just plan ahead and you will be fine. Renew is an exception as it is a HoT (Heal over Time) and an instant cast. This means it can be applied whenever and it gives you a fraction of its heal every few seconds for 15 seconds. This should be applied at around 55%-60% as we want to use it to the most of its ability, but we do not want to over use it.

Another way to avoid dieing is to pop up your Power Word: Shield (bubble as most call it), it shields you with some holy “shit” and takes a chunk of the damage received away from you and into the spell. It has a point where it is useless, and you will notice this as the bubble will disappear and your will actually be taking damage. This should be up as much as possible. It means you take no damage which in turn means that your cast time for spells is not “interrupted” by damage taken and you do not have to “waste” Mana by healing yourself as much.

Lastly, around level 14 Priests get Psychic Scream. This spell fears all enemies within the proximity of the Priest for 8 seconds. This is extremely useful when there is more than one mob attacking you as it gets EVERYTHING out of your comfort zone for a few seconds to let you regain some health/re apply DoTs with ease to your enemies. Beware, there is a 30 second cool down on the spell, though!

What has science done for us?

Warlock

The Warlock has it the easiest out of all of the squishies as they generally can take a few more hits than their other cloth-wearing comrades. However, Warlocks can still get into plenty of trouble if they are overconfident or just make a bad pull. So, Blizzard decided to be merciful and made Healthstones, Fear, and Voidwalkers.

Healthstones are little “cookies” made of souls of the innocent. Whenever you get soulshards you may turn one into a Healthstone that can be used by you or any of your allies (Horde or Alliance Players). It essentially is a health potion in the form of a green rock. This of course can give you the extra “boost” you need when you’re getting your face crushed in by a few “friends”. [sarcasm] Use them in dire situations only, as these cookies take easily accessible resources and so much of your time! [/sarcasm]

The trademark skill of Warlocks is of course, Fear. This is a CC that scares the target making them run around like a chicken without a head for about 10 seconds. Just like Frost Nova, this effect can be broken depending on how much damage is dealt to the feared target. HOWEVER, this spell is not on a cool down so you could just as easily reapply the fear and keep laughing your ass off. Cheap? Possibly. Hysterical? Definitely!

Lastly we have the Voidwalker which is essentially having a mini Prot Warrior in your control. At level 10 he comes with a single target growl-like effect which helps him to gain a large aggro lead over you. His damage is not as good as your Imp, but he will be able to Tank stuff a LOT better than Mr. Imp. What you want to do is send him into battle first and THEN start applying DOTs/doing DPS, or with multiple targets, have him Tank 1-2 targets while you grab the other few. The VW is very useful when used correctly so make sure you can manage pets like a boss!

To Make a Long Story Short

Keep stuff away from you. Distance yourself from your enemies as much as possible, and then throw balls of Holy Light/Fire/Ice/Black Death upon them. It’s like First Grade, except they die and you don’t get into trouble! Just practice keeping your distance from your target and before you know it, you’ll be a pro at kiting/avoiding damage.

Happy WoWing!
-Craig

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