State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

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Komma
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State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Komma Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:16 am

6.2 Mage - Mythic Expectations
Tomorrow is the US release of Mythic Hellfire Citadel, which marks the beginning of the 6.2 progression race. With a week of Heroic Hellfire Citadel behind us, we now have an even better idea of how Mages will play out in the coming months. Similar to the previous tier, I like to make final adjustments to my mythic predictions, based on how heroic raids have gone. It is an addendum to the previous thread, which I recommend reading first if you haven't done so already:

State of the Specs (June 20) - http://altered-time.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1663" target="_blank

We've also been able to use the week to take closer looks at the last minute hotfixes made before 6.2, such as the buff to Frost's 4T18 set bonus. Despite frustrations with tier token drop rates, some lucky players have been able to acquire 4T18 and trinkets, allowing them to contribute valuable data. The following information builds on all this activity from the past week, to better evaluate how things will pan out.

An hour after I wrote this article, Tome of Shifting Words was nerfed 33% for Frost Mages. I have updated the charts and conclusions to include this nerf. The big picture changes slightly; Frost is still strong, but no longer dominantly so.
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Frost 4T18 and Class Trinket
As mentioned in the previous thread, SimC was not utilizing Frost's 4T18 set bonus and the Archimonde trinket very well. Since then, I've updated robofrost to play nicely with 4T18's 14 second duration Water jet, and improved the trinket usage by quite a bit. Shatterlance now affects 99.95% of all Ice Lances, up from ~70% in the previous version. The results showed that the 4T18 set bonus is rather overpowered, when combined with the class trinket (http://www.wowhead.com/item=124516/tome ... ds&bonus=0" target="_blank):
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450s, single target
4T18 is now valued at ~7.09%. This is on par with most other set bonuses.

The tier bonus increases the rate of FoF generation from roughly ~9/min to ~14.5/min. This directly impacts the strength of the class trinket, which increases Ice Lance strength.
Image
450s, single target

At a 17.2% gain over an empty slot, the trinket has been brought back in line. It's still the most powerful trinket available to Frost for single target or low target cleave, but no longer ahead of all other options by a gigantic margin.

The trinket bolsters Frost's single target and low target cleave competitiveness immensely.
Image
450s, single target
With Ice Lance being strong on two targets, Frost's position as the king of cleave is further reinforced. The other two specs don't come anywhere close.
Image
450s, two targets
However, it is worth noting that Frost single target in raids is slightly less than in simulations. 14 second Water Jet is quite hard to utilize optimally in hectic fights. The Shatterlance playstyle (Frostbolt+Ice Lance ad infinitum) is also fairly rigid and not always encounter friendly.

At mythic gear levels, it is hard to say what will happen; The ring synergizes extremely well with Arcane's mechanics, due to a combination of Arcane Power, Prismatic Crystal, and the class trinket. Whether Frost will fall behind depends on how the ring interacts with pets and Prismatic Crystal, the details of which we won't know until we see the ring in action.

Prophecy of Fear - Frost
The Mannoroth trinket, Prophecy of Fear (http://www.wowhead.com/item=124230/prop ... ar&bonus=0" target="_blank), was being triggered by Icicles. This was confirmed as a bug, and was fixed with a last minute patch (Build 20171) before the release of 6.2. This has no effect

Prophecy of Fear - Arcane
SimC updates suggest that Prophecy of Fear has gotten even more desirable for Arcane Mages, by aggressively triggering the proc with Arcane Missiles. This doesn't really change anything for Arcane, because it was already by far the strongest trinket. What it does change, is how the different specs stack up in terms of AOE damage.

Arcane Power, Incanters's Flow, Rune of Power, and Mana Adept all affect damage done by the trinket's explosion effect (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=184075/doom-nova" target="_blank). This allows Arcane to be fairly competitive in terms of AOE throughput
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450s, six target
Unsurprisingly, due to the RPPM nature of the trinket, this AOE strength is extremely unreliable. This also means that Arcane cannot be depended on for reliable AOE burst damage. The cleave/AOE might as well be considered as uncontrollable and incidental cleave, which is still nice for bosses such as Tyrant Velhari and Archimonde, but not for the likes of Xhul'horac and Mannoroth which require steady AOE throughput for cleaning up dangerous adds.

Spec Predictions - Updated!
With the rise of Frost as a top single target and cleave spec, some adjustments need to be made to the predictions. HFC has also shown some encounters that benefit greatly from sustained cleave. Arcane can no longer be safely assumed as the top spec for most fights. My expectations are adjusted as follow:

Arcane > Frost > Fire for single target encounters.
Frost >> Arcane > Fire for two target cleave.
Fire >> Arcane > Frost for stacked, sustained AOE (Uncommon in HFC).
Most progression mages will likely be running dual spec Frost/Arcane.


It should be noted that HFC has a very wide variety of encounters: Iron Reaver, Gorefiend, Kilrogg and Zakuun are single target focused. Velhari, Socrethar and Archimonde are cleave heavy, Hellfire Assault, Iskar and Xhul'horac require heavy AOE. All three specs will have their fights to shine in.
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asd202
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby asd202 Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:24 am

Heh that didn't last long. Blizzard alread nerfed the Archi trinket for Frost mages by 33%. So now Arcane on top again?
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby gameorg Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:14 pm

Iam also commenting on the prenerf simulations:

Most mages probably dont respec and go with fire/arcane until they got their hands on 4P and Trinket. Current logs are reflecting the situation, that frost only becomes competetive outside of dual cleave once they got the Gear. While fire and arcane are competetive in their respective roles already. Frost is just not there yet on other Bosses than dual cleave. Once fully heroic geared, frost is a valuable choice, for more than just 2 bosses, but as you mentioned, frost is also alot harder to fully utilize in practical situations.

Obviously the nerf will not work in frosts favour. I kinda dont get the logic to nerf a dead spec right at the moment players start to consider picking it up again.
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Rinoa Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:11 pm

It would appear so, asd202.

Well done on another quality post of this kind, Komma. I'll add it to the EU forums.

e:/ Holding off on it a tad since it may be a bit misleading with the Frost trinket shenanigans to the untrained eye.
Last edited by Rinoa on Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Zrog Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:49 pm

If Frost is close to Arcane in damage, would there be a benefit in switching to Frost for low-target fights, given that in general, Frost is more movement-friendly? (Ice Lance procs allow movement, whereas Arcane doesn't really have a frequent move-and-use ability).

I'm also wondering, due to the fact that I didn't bother to collect multistrike gear from BRF, whether it's practical at all to work up a Frost spec with Normal/Heroic HFC gear.

Thanks,

Zrog
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Wilderness Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:35 pm

One thing to remember about Frost's mobility is that tier/trinket bonuses make it less immobile. You want to weave Frostbolts before every FoF-IL, and you want to stand still for the 4-set's long WJ as well. Its still got BF procs for mobility, but before you could bank 2 FoF charges if you knew you had a bit of movement coming up and you can't now.

If you don't have tier or HFC trinkets just yet, then you should try simming yourself as Arcane or Frost to see if their single-target damage is comparable - and while you do that you can see what the differences in dps would be with no MS gear Frost as well.
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Flamalicious Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:58 pm

Much appreciated Komma, you are the real mvp.
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby sownzoria Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:29 pm

Maybe it's just me, but in my un-official survey, as Frost, I have been smoking other similarly-geared fire and arcane mages on skada, and I'm only at 690.

I'm sure it's not logical or even mathematical, but Frost just feels more fun to me, it's always been my go-to spec and it's nice to have it back in the running again. :D :D :D
Lak
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Lak Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:22 pm

So wait. The only valid reason to still play arcane is because of the set-bonus being much cooler than frosts?
I mean, gearing for one spec is ahellava lot easier than two.
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Methusula Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:45 pm

What? No, frost is competitive at around 700 item level. As you gear up in current HEROIC and mythic gear, arcane will separate from frost on single target. Once you have Prophesy of Fear, it out paces frost on aoe as well. Frost has a niche for cleave encounters, but otherwise arcane will be superior. If someone who prefers frost, and is 690 item level is getting better results, good for them. This is not necessarily the case at higher item levels with proper itemization.

TL:DR; based on your gear, the encounter, and you skill, mileage may vary.
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby gameorg Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:55 pm

So wait. The only valid reason to still play arcane is because of the set-bonus being much cooler than frosts?
I mean, gearing for one spec is ahellava lot easier than two.
The sims are not up-to-date (class trinket nerf to frost) and are done for heroic gear. The BIS list of both specs is quite similar aswell.
Antonidious
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Antonidious Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:36 pm

Have the graphs/conclusion been updated to reflect the frost trinket nerf yet?
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Komma Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:18 am

Have the graphs/conclusion been updated to reflect the frost trinket nerf yet?
A few days late, but yes!
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Antonidious
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Antonidious Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:18 pm

Have the graphs/conclusion been updated to reflect the frost trinket nerf yet?
A few days late, but yes!
Awesome thanks so much for the guide too! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't operating off of incorrect conclusions.
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Blutastic Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:53 am

Thank you Komma for awesome job with these threads.

My first set of questions - If you would take these theoretical results into practical use, that is - choose 2 specs, have one set of gear what would that be? You wrote for exmample that you thought many would go Arcane/frost - but would this be with haste gems/enchants? Would you prefer gemming/enchanting for arcane first hand because it has the best single target which in most fights are the most important (also have decent aoe with Prophecy of Fear trinket)?

Second question - Is it possible for you to take these results and convert them into a table with best talent choices for each Hellfire Citadel boss for each spec? Also, a little mark for what spec is the best for each spec is good (for me effective damage on progress is important, not padding). I understand if this takes a while to do, but i am pretty sure it is something that alot of your fans/subscribers want to see :)
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Re: State of the Specs (June 29, pre-Mythic HFC)

Unread postby Chev Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:42 am

Thank you Komma for awesome job with these threads.

My first set of questions - If you would take these theoretical results into practical use, that is - choose 2 specs, have one set of gear what would that be? You wrote for exmample that you thought many would go Arcane/frost - but would this be with haste gems/enchants? Would you prefer gemming/enchanting for arcane first hand because it has the best single target which in most fights are the most important (also have decent aoe with Prophecy of Fear trinket)?

Second question - Is it possible for you to take these results and convert them into a table with best talent choices for each Hellfire Citadel boss for each spec? Also, a little mark for what spec is the best for each spec is good (for me effective damage on progress is important, not padding). I understand if this takes a while to do, but i am pretty sure it is something that alot of your fans/subscribers want to see :)
Most people are taking Arcane / Frost. This is because all fights have some kind of priority target and Fire is more for DPS meter padding. If you are going to do 2 specs properly, you would have items geared and enchanted properly for that spec. If you don't have the gear to do that, gem / enchant for what ever you are using to progress of if too expensive to swap each new fight, what you will play most. Don't try and gem / enchant as a best fit between the two.

It is extremely difficult and time consuming to set up Sims to mimic specific fights from the raid so you can sim for different talents. Especially since not all groups use the same tactics and so the tactic you use may not benefit from your talent selection (or vice versa) A thread has been started in the general discussion section (where this thread is) and this collates what talents different members of the community are using on a fight by fight basis.

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