[General] FAQ for Mages, Snapshotting & Macros

7 posts in this topic

This FAQ made by me and Oltier intends to answer some commonly occurring questions. If anything is unclear, inaccurate or if you feel a question should be added then please tell us. All information here is correct, though at times simplified for clarity.


List of questions:






List of useful macros






What spec should I play?

You can achieve almost the same numbers with all three specs. However, as a Fire mage under 40% crit chance, you might not get the numbers you would expect. Keep in mind that while gear matters, correct gameplay is a very important factor. If your numbers are low, post some logs with a request for help rather than respeccing immediately.


Why should I use orange gems instead of pure intellect gems?

Because 2 secondary stat points are stronger than 1 intellect stat point, and gems give twice as many secondary stat points than they give primary stat points. However, you do not want to break socket bonuses, that is why you will gem orange in red sockets.


Why do you put expertise gems in your gem slots?

As mentioned above, gems give 2 secondary stat points, and expertise counts towards hit rating for casters, so you are actually gemming hit. This means that you can then reforge hit away on your equipment, to a different secondary stat, making the orange gem worth more points because you don't "waste" budget on intellect.


How much DPS should I do with 5xx item level?

That is a difficult question to answer, because item level does not accurately predict your potential DPS, for not item slots are not equally powerful. For example: you have 570 item level, but your trinkets and weapon come from raid finder; your DPS will be a lot lower than you would suspect. 

If you feel that you are underperforming then the culprit is primarily bad gameplay. In this case, if you send us a link to your armory and a warcraftlogs.com log from one of your Malkorok kills, we will be more than happy to have a look at it and give you some pointers.


How much haste should I have if I have PBoI?

Purified Bindings of Immerseus adds a passive amount of haste rating based on the rest of your equipment(Unequip PBoI, your haste rating will drop), so you do not have to worry about haste. 


What is snapshotting and how do I do it?

Check this amazing guide for a detailed explanation of snapshotting: http://www.icy-veins...shotting-guide/


How do I use Alter Time properly?

Frost: capture Icy Veins and your strongest trinkets and buffs, let it run its full course.


FireUse Alter time to save a Heating up proc and a Pyroblast! proc together with your strongest int procs(both trinkets ideally) and Presence of Mind. Sidestep and spam pyroblasts, manually reset alter time when you run out and spam pyroblasts again, press Combustion before the presence of mind pyroblast hits.


Arcane: Once you are at 4 stacks with both your trinkets up, activate your mana gem to get to full mana, active Arcane Power and then activate Alter Time. Cast your missiles accompanied with arcane blast, shoot Arcane Barrage before AT ends.


What trinkets should I use?

Purified Bindings of Immerseus is a definite must for any specializations.

Your other trinket choice depends on the item level and spec. For fire, if Black Blood of Yshaarj is the same or a higher ilvl than your other trinket, equip it. For frost and arcane, if the item level of your Kardris Toxic Totem is the same or higher than your other trinket, equip it.


Of course, there are no clear-cut winners here, and every build with its own theorycrafting might suggest a different 2nd trinket, so it is possible that you'll read that somewhere. As a rule of thumb though, this is correct.


What bomb do I use on which encounter?

See here: https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/3037-siege-of-orgrimmar-mage-style/


Does Mirror Images' damage snapshot?

No, Mirror Images' damage is being updated dynamically.


Which addons do you suggest for tracking buffs and mage bombs?

For tracking buffs we suggest either TellMeWhen or Weakauras. Both addons are very easy to configure and very powerful, their functions range from basic buff/cooldown tracking to advanced events and conditions.


For multidotting you can either opt to go for TidyPlates and multidot using plates, or use ForteXorcist or MageBombTracker to multidot using a list of targets. Keep in mind that you will always need to apply your mage bomb first using the latter 2 addons. You can also configure your boss frames for bosses such as The Fallen Protectors.


We highly advise the use of a mousover macro found here: https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/4796-mage-macros/


Fire specific


Is Crit>Mastery>Haste viable for Fire mage?

The only fight on which Crit > Mastery > Haste works well is on The Fallen Protectors if your guild stacks the bosses. Otherwise the loss of haste simply is too expensive. For a more detailed explanation visit https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/4991-kvers-comprehensive-guide-to-fire-v10/


When can I switch to Fire?

For Fire we would suggest at least having the 4 set with the reasonable amount of 45% critical chance(AMR shows this as 42%). Any lower and you are subject to a large fluctuation in your performance.


Should I use the 4 piece set bonus?

Absolutely, it is just that good, it can help massively with smoothing RNG. You will want to include the 4 piece's buff in your Alter Time combination if possible. 


The 2 piece is very powerful if played with correctly. You can "camp" at 5 stacks, but this is quite advanced. For more information, see https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/4991-kvers-comprehensive-guide-to-fire-v10/



Frost specific


Why should I NOT macro Alter Time and Icy Veins?

With IV glyph you cast a triple number of Frostbolts, FFBs and ILs. (Without the glyph you still cast more overall)

This means that your trinkets have a 3x higher chance to proc since trinket procs are calculated per hit.


Consequently: More hits=higher chance to proc trinkets.


Then, you can use Alter Time more beneficially.


Should I use the 2 or 4 piece set bonus?

Check the flowchart in this guide for a detailed explanation: https://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/3678-akraens-comprehensive-guide-to-54-frost-pve-advanced/#entry41271


Which frost build should I go for?

All three builds mentioned in Akraen's guide are completely viable in all situations. Although on some fights one will pull ahead, on other fights, the other build will be better. This is all explained in Akraen's Frost Mage guide here: http://www.icy-veins...t-pve-advanced/

What I can suggest you is: try out all of them and play the one you like the most.


What is 14242 haste in Mixture build? What is the next break point?

14242 is the 50% haste rating, with Frost Armor and raid haste buff. This is basically the GCD cap for frost mages. If you choose the mixture build, the next breakpoint that you should reach is 19347.

If you go for the Haste build, then there is no "next break point". In that build, you just keep stacking haste.


How do I set up 14242 haste rating in AMR?

Click "Edit Weights". In Haste Soft Cap section, select "Manual". Insert the demanded haste rating.


Does Frozen Orb's damage snapshot?

No, Frozen Orb's damage is being updated dynamically.


Arcane specific


Should I use the 4 piece set bonus?

Yes, you will want to keep the 4 piece equiped in general.

If you have 2 heroic tier pieces and 2 normal tier pieces then equip the 4 set. If you only have 1 heroic tier piece, or none at all, and the alternatives are heroic items, then break the 4 set.







Credit to the assembly of the following macros goes to Archimage and the IV community


Now Evocation becomes spammable; stops you from clipping your previous evocation if you are using it to heal yourself.

#showtooltiptext Evocation
/cast [nochanneling:Evocation] Evocation
One button for summoning your pet and using Freeze spell
/cast [nopet] Summon Water Elemental
/cast Freeze


Opening Sequence Macro, after Mirror Images of course.

#showtooltip Potion of the Jade Serpent
/use Potion of the Jade Serpent
/castsequence Frostbolt, Mage Bomb, Frozen Orb


Normal Frostbolt + Pet Attack
#showtooltip Frostbolt
/cast [harm, nochanneling:Evocation] Frostbolt

Most mages already have this, however it contains an added "nochanneling:Evocation" so that you don't clip your evocation. Also added "harm" so you don't heal you Water Elemental. 

You can also add "nochanneling:Evocation" infront of your other spells like Mage Bomb, Ice Lance and Frostfire Bolt so you don't clip your evocate.
This is one of the most basic macros for PvP
/cast [mod:alt, @focus]Counterspell; Counterspell
Using Mage Bomb (NT, LB, FB) on the enemy you have your mouse on, or just on the current target.
#showtooltip Mage Bomb
/cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead] Mage Bomb; Mage Bomb
Ice Block macro, use once to Ice Block, use again to cancel iceblock
#showtooltip Ice Block
/cancelaura Ice Block
/cast Ice Block
Macro to summon and control your pet
/cast Summon Water Elemental




This guide was created by Anderson, all credit goes to him for creating it. If you think something is in need of amendment, take it up with him first.


1. Basics


Before we go to the definition and necessity of snapshotting, I'd like to point out that by magebomb only ability_mage_livingbomb.jpgLiving Bomb and spell_mage_nethertempest.jpgNether Tempest  are meant, but not spell_mage_frostbomb.jpgFrost Bomb.


1.1 Definition


"Snapshotting is refreshing your mage bomb after getting an intellect/haste proc and refreshing your bomb again, before that proc expires."
1.2 Necessity


The damage of each bomb tick relies not on your stats at the time the bomb ticks, but on your stats at the time you casted the bomb (snapshot). By refreshing your bomb after getting a major int/haste proc, bomb DPS is higher even though you spend a gcd for refreshing.
2. Howto snapshot


This section explains when you have to refresh your bomb. The rules are different between Single-Target and Multi-Target fights. I assume the use of  ability_mage_livingbomb.jpgLiving Bomb for single-target and spell_mage_nethertempest.jpgNether Tempest for multi-target fights. See Koviko`s Magebomb by Encounter List for magebomb choice in SoO.


2.1. Single-Target (General)


"Snapshot (refresh) your bomb, if your current bomb has less than 6 seconds left."


Applies to:

ability_creature_poison_06.jpgToxic Power from inv_jewelry_orgrimmarraid_trinket_13.jpgKardris' Toxic Totem
inv_misc_gem_bloodstone_01.jpgExpanded Mind from inv_jewelry_orgrimmarraid_trinket_07.jpgPurified Bindings of Immerseus
spell_holy_mindvision.jpgExtravagant Visions from inv_jewelry_orgrimmarraid_trinket_15.jpgFrenzied Crystal of Rage 

trade_alchemy_potiond4.jpgPotion of the Jade Serpent from trade_alchemy_potiond4.jpgPotion of the Jade Serpent

trade_engineering.jpgSynapse Springs

inv_misc_thread_01.jpgLightweave Embroidery

spell_shaman_spiritlink.jpgJade Spirit from inv_misc_enchantedscroll.jpgEnchant Weapon - Jade Spirit (Under discussion)


2.2 Single-Target (Exceptions)


inv_legendary_sigilofpower.jpgWrath of the Darkspear from inv_jewelry_orgrimmarraid_trinket_02.jpgBlack Blood of Y'Shaarj
This one is tricky but basically the best DPS itself comes from refreshing a single target DoT at 4 sec, then refreshing it again at < 1 sec. This allows you to get stacking effect in the middle and a huge one before it expires.


spell_nature_invisibilty.jpgTempus Repit from inv_legendary_chimeraoffear.jpgSinister Primal Diamond

Snapshot immediately and before proc expires
spell_nature_bloodlust.jpgBloodlust / ability_mage_timewarp.jpgTime Warp
Snapshot immediately and before proc expires
2.3 Multi-Target (General)


"Snapshot every proc immediately."


Applies to:

All procs from Single-Target (General + Exceptions).


2.4 Multi-Target (Exceptions)


Some Minor procs are not worthful to be snapshotted immediately in Multi-Target Fights. This would be:


trade_engineering.jpgSynapse Springs

inv_misc_thread_01.jpgLightweave Embroidery

spell_shaman_spiritlink.jpgJade Spirit from inv_misc_enchantedscroll.jpgEnchant Weapon - Jade Spirit


4. Differences between spec/bomb


As a general rule of thumb, the more haste you have, the more potent snapshotting becomes, but it is always worth it. Snapshotting in multitarget situations is more potent as well, because the bombs play a relatively larger role in your DPS.
5. Addons

For optimal snapshotting you need to monitor your procs and their internal cooldowns, so you know when to snapshot. There a several addons available which help monitoring your procs:


Power Auras Classic 
Weak Auras 2


If you want to know, how much stronger your bomb would be after getting a proc, you can use affdots with mage pluginWARNING: This addon will not tell you when to snapshot! (Even if the colors indicate otherwise). It just gives you the information, how much stronger your bomb would be, in comparison to your active one. You still have to use your brain and monitor your procs.


 6. Questions & Answers


Q: Snapshotted Toxic Power, immediately after that, Expanded Mind procs. What shall I do?
A: If you see that Bindings is about to come off cooldown then do not snapshot yet, wait until either Bindings procs, KTT is about to expire, or if your living bomb is about to expire.
Q: 2 Fingers of Frost are up and I get a Proc. What do I cast first, Mage Bomb or Ice Lance?
A: I would say refresh Mage Bomb, than cast Ice Lance because you can't get another FoF in the meantime (except Frozen Orb is active)



This concludes the FAQ, we hope that this clarifies the most common issues and questions mages face. If you feel any question and answer or macro should be added please tell us.

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Maybe consider adding why you shouldn't macro Mirror Image and Icy veins.
What I have found is if you pop Mirror Image + Icy veins + etc etc and you are moving at the same time either one or the other doesn't proc.

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That isn't why you shouldn't macro them. 


If you have them macro'd you lose the first GCD of IV taken up by Mirrors.

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I noticed that Water Elemental gets stunned with "Summoning Disorientation" if you cast Summon Water Elemental. So I modified my Macro:

#showtooltip Summon Water Elemental
/cast [nopet] Summon Water Elemental; [mod] Summon Water Elemental

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