Obsolete, Spells and Talents
Given unlimited mana, an Arcane Mage is capable of sustaining the highest single-target DPS in the game. An Arcane Mage relies primarily upon the spell Arcane Blast, a spell that only gains viability with the 2-piece T5 set bonus that increases its damage by 20%:
Arcane Blast is unique in that it applies a debuff to the caster that simultaneously increases its casting speed and mana cost. At three applications, the base casting speed is reduced to 1.5 seconds (from 2.5) and its mana cost is increased by 225%. With a full stack of Arcane Blast, an Arcane Mage is capable of spending more than 2000 MP5. Obviously, this isn’t sustainable over the course of an entire boss fight and, at some point, Mages end up having to scale back the use of Arcane Blast in favor of a less expensive, lower output spell (such as Frostbolt or Arcane Missiles). However, Innervate can be used to postpone a Mage’s “burnout” point, increasing his DPS dramatically.
With the changes to mana regeneration in Patch 2.4, all casting classes use the same formula for determining their base mana regen. But while Druids and Shamans share the same formula, Shamans don’t possess a talent like Intensity, making Intellect- and Spirit-based mana regeneration less attractive. At 60% regeneration while casting via Mage Armor and Arcane Meditation, an Arcane Mage effectively derives even greater benefit from increasing his Intellect and Spirit values. In fact, you will often find Arcane Mages sacrificing +spell damage and +spell crit in favor of more Spirit or Intellect. Taken together, these factors make the Arcane-specced Mage an ideal candidate for receiving Innervate. And if you still happen to have any doubt about Blizzard’s intentions for the Mage as a Spirit-driven spellcaster, take a look at these two talents rumored to be in the WotLK alpha:
Potent Spirit: Increases your spell critical strike rating by an amount equal to 15% of your total Spirit.
Student of the Mind: Increases your total spirit by 10%.
Mages: Asking for (and Receiving) an Innervate
It’s important to coordinate the use of Innervate to avoid two people giving it to the same person simultaneously. Not only does the effect not stack, but even if it did, it might actually be overkill (restoring more Mana than can be consumed in twenty seconds). Ideally, a Feral Druid should be assigned to give her Innervate to each Arcane Mage. Many encounters provide this opportunity, even to a Feral who is tanking or off-tanking, though it may be necessary to be aware of transitions and aggro changes .
If a Feral Druid isn’t available to give away her Innervate, you can instead call upon a Restoration or Balance Druid. However, in this case, the Arcane Mage should try to burn through as much of her mana as possible so that Innervate can be used early, giving the Restoration or Balance Druid the opportunity to use her own Innervate six minutes later in the fight if it proves to be necessary. On fights where it’s valuable to really pour out the DPS, a Restoration or Balance Druid can bestow an early Innervate, and a Feral Druid can give hers later.
Whether a Feral, Restoration, or Balance-specced Innervate, it’s a good idea to create a macro that whispers your assigned Druid, politely letting her know that you’re ready for an Innervate when it’s convenient to do so. For example:
/tell Currant ** When possible, I could use an Innervate. Thank you. **
Try not to allow your mana reserves to run dry before asking, just in case it’s not possible for the Druid to stop what she’s doing immediately to Innervate you; this is particularly likely if your Feral Druid is off-tanking and won’t be free until a transition or if the Restoration Druid is maintaining Lifebloom stacks on multiple tanks. Remember to be understanding if a Restoration or Balance Druid refuses you her Innervate, particularly if she’s died early and needs it to replenish her own mana stores or if the fight is known to be especially mana intensive for healers (though the latter case should be discussed prior to an encounter).
One thing to keep in mind as an Arcane Mage is that, unlike a healer, you can burn through a lot more mana in twenty seconds if you make a concerted effort to do so. If you’re spending mana at a rate of 2000 MP5 or more, it’s generally possible to get the full value of an Innervate as early as 80% mana. Watch your typical mana expense when you’re really pushing yourself and adjust accordingly.
If you are lucky enough to be the recipient of Innervate, be a responsible consumer and do all you can to maximize its benefits. Use the techniques described in Mana Regen 2.4: Getting the Most out of Innervate to determine what your gear-appropriate weapon swap should be and swap to it automatically.
Druids: Giving away Your Innervate
To avoid two Druids giving an Innervate to the same person simultaneously, announce when you’re giving your Innervate to someone else, both to your raid and to the lucky recipient (so that she can perform any necessary weapon swaps). Such a macro might look like this:
/rsay ** This Innervate brought to %t by Resto4Life.com! **
/script SendChatMessage(“Innervating you!”, “WHISPER”, nil, UnitName(“target”));
You can modify the above macro so that it casts Innervate on yourself by default but casts it on your target if you hold down CTRL:
/script if IsControlKeyDown() then SendChatMessage(“** Innervating you!”,”WHISPER”,nil,UnitName(“target”));SendChatMessage(“** Innervating %t!”,”RAID”,nil,nil);end;
Naturally, giving your Innervate away puts you at risk for needing it later yourself and not having it available. Do your best to be conscious of when you think you’ll need it, and work the details out ahead of time so that the Mages in your raid know whether they should conserve their Mana. But keep in mind that, even if giving away your Innervate forces you to use one or more mana potions, it’s probably worth it on DPS-sensitive encounters (assuming that the potions are enough to allow you to continue healing). And, should you need further convincing to pry an Innervate from your waggly little fingers, here is an (only partially self-motivated) example from Mr. Phae:
With 1200 spell damage and a 20% base spell crit, Frostbolt spam does about 810 DPS for an Arcane Mage, while Arcane Blast is about 1385 DPS. So every extra second an Arcane Mage can spend spamming AB will do about 576 extra damage. The base mana cost for Frostbolt is 246 after talents for a 2.5 second spell versus 612 for Arcane Blast for a 1.5 second spell (factoring in the value of Arcane Concentration), so each extra second of AB spam costs 310 extra mana, and every extra point of mana you give an Arcane Mage will cause 1.86 extra damage. For a typical Arcane Mage with 650 Intellect and 350 Spirit raid buffed, an Innervate would provide 8323 mana, so you can think of it as an insta-cast, zero threat nuke that does 15,485 damage.
And hey, at least you aren’t feeding a Holy Priest more mana with which to outheal you!
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