Mage Tier 9 Analysis

Alright, so maybe my last article was  a wee bit outdated, given that tier 8 has been out for a few months now, it doesn’t really need an analysis. It was just something that had been on my mind and I felt like it needed to be said.

Anyway, today I’m going to write about something a little more recent and relevant. Mage Tier Nine…we all want it right? Maybe, maybe not, let’s find out.

Reminder, these are the latest tier bonuses on the PTR and subject to change, so don’t hate me if something changes.

So, let’s start out by checking out the two piece set bonus:

Increases the armor you gain from Ice Armor by 20%, the mana regeneration you gain from Mage Armor by 10%, and converts and additional 15% of your spirit into critical strike rating while Molten Armor is active.


What is this? Seriously? In my opinion, this is one of the worst tier bonuses I have ever seen. Extra Armor from Ice Armor? Does anyone even use that while raiding? Sure, I use Mage Armor while raiding, but 10% is barely a difference, and not really going to change the fact that the arcane rotation sucks the mana out of you like a beastly mosquito. I suppose that an extra percentage of spirit converting to crit will be somewhat beneficial to fire and frostfire mages, but it’s still less than awesome.

Alright, so maybe the four piece bonus makes up for this lackluster two piece bonus?

Increases the critical strike chance of your Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt, Arcane Missiles, and Arcane Blast spells by 5%.

Umm…I’m not really sure what to think about this one. Crit is nice, but is it really something we mages want as our tier bonus? It’s nice that the benefit is applied to two spells for arcane mages. Like I said, the jury is still out on this one for me.

So, final impressions: If you are a fire or a frostfire mage, you will be one happy caster if you manage to get four pieces of this set. Extra crit from molten armor stacked with a flat out 5% increase of crit on your main nukes will have you critting like a beast. For us arcane raiders, this tier is not as good as some other bonuses. I’m still reluctant to give up my tier 7 two piece bonus. That extra mana from mana gems is a godsend.


7 Responses to “Mage Tier 9 Analysis”

  1. Maybe the title should be T x Set Bonus Analysis.
    While the set bonuses are one of the highest reasons/goals to pick up tier pieces, they are also considered for their stats other than the set bonuses.
    Perhaps there should be a comparison with other gear, or why this tier for this slot instead of something else.

    But I suppose that has already been done at Elitest Jerks, right?

    • solomonx Says:

      Maybe you’re right. The thing is, one of the most interesting and beneficial part of any tier set is the set bonuses, so I thought they would be a good topic for analysis. It’s pretty much guaranteed that this tier will be better stat-wise than last tier, so I didn’t go into detail on that. Chances are, there will be gear that will serve as a better item in one slot or another, but I don’t have all of this information available to me (especially new emblem rewards and whatnot).

      Thanks for the feedback! =D

  2. Bad analysis

    1. You’ve grossly overvalued the t7 set bonuses because they’re sexy. Instant Pyroblasts are sexy, so more of them is better! Whee! Of what matter was it that it only procced 20% of the time, that the proc played merry hob with any attempt to plan out your spell rotation two or three spells in advance (What’s that? You don’t do that? If that’s the case then you’re inept and you lose uptime on Scorch, Living Bomb, or both.) The 2-piece Praxis proc is even worse, translating to a mere 65 spellpower over the course of a fight of any length.

    2. You’re undervalued the t8 set bonuses because they’re not sexy. The 2-piece translates to an additional 2% crit (@600 spirit, a reasonable expectation in Uduar-exit gear) while the 4-piece is good for 5%. This means someone in Ulduar exit gear who was critting with their fireball 67% of the time is now critting at 74%. The odds of getting a pyroblast proc after each fireball goes from 45% to 55%, which represents more instant Pyroblasts overall.

    3. You’ve failed to mention stats, spellpower, crit, haste, nor hit rating. t8 enjoys substantial increases in all but the last stat, which is reduced slightly. Even the reduced hit rating is a good thing: Mages in Ulduar exit gear are unable to use any of the hit rating/activate trinkets in Ulduar 10/25 because they’re already hit capped without trying. I’ve shelved my Bracers of Unleashed Magic for Shackles of the Odalisque for this reason. The point is not only are the t8 stats markedly better, (this is hardly suprising – it’s 13 ilvl’s higher,) but the itemization is vastly improved.

  3. […] to say the least. Magetable’s blog has a nice writeup of this from a couple weeks back, and I have to say I agree with pretty much everything he says. Both of […]

  4. Actually, the tier set does look very strong for fire/frostfire as you pointed out. I don’t think that the issue is that Arcane raiders will receive sub-par bonuses as much as Arcane raiders will be all but forced to respec fire or frostfire. Arcane started WotLK as a fun, strong spec for raiding mages and it’s just slid farther and farther behing fire/frostfire ever since the expansion launched.

  5. Yeah. I see no problem with the set bonuses. I’m an arcane mage who uses Molten Armor for sheer crit and with all these bonuses my crit rating is almost 50% and when Arcane Potency procs I got up to like 86%. The gear has substantial amounts of haste on it and with my Talisman of Volatile Power from 10 man TOC I’m continually critting in respect with stacks for 10k, 14k, 15k, 18k.

    I see no problem with the set bonuses although a spellpower bonus would be nice as well.

  6. who the hell uses mage armor during a raid dude?

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