Primeval Titan Playset Pics

•March 11, 2011 • Comments Off on Primeval Titan Playset Pics

Here are a couple pics of the Primeval Titans for sale on ebay currently.



Magic: The Gathering Tutorial Videos

•April 12, 2010 • Comments Off on Magic: The Gathering Tutorial Videos

Part 1: Welcome to the Multiverse

Part 2: The Five Colors of Mana

Part 3: Game Zones and Parts of a Card

Part 4: Card Types

Part 5: Parts of a Turn

Part 6: The Next Step

Mage PvP

•August 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment



It’s almost a bad word for mages, particularly for raiding mages.  Those gladiator-geared warlocks see us coming in our raiding equipment and they start thinking … ‘Easy kill  Same for rogues.  Heck, same for most classes actually.

Now, this article won’t suddenly turn you into a 2000 rank arena team player.  I’ll be completely honest on that count.  My personal arena rank hits 1500 semi-regularly … every time the arena season changes.  What this article will do is help you be more effective in that other PvP format:  Battlegrounds.


OK, Rei, but really, why do we care?  We’re PvE mages, we’ve made that perfectly clear.  Why should we even bother?  Good question.  And for many, the answer is, there is no good reason.  But at almost any raiding level, there are usually at least one or two very nice pieces of equipment that can be obtained from honor and battleground marks.  There’s a pretty nice neckpiece, and the PvP bracers are quite good as well.  Other pieces such as boots, ring, etc. may also be relevant for you, depending on your current gear.


And sometimes, as in my own personal case, you want to see how high you can take your reputation with one of the factions before you’re forced to claw your own eyes out.


So, you’ve hit join battleground.  You’ve gotten in to a battleground.  And amazingly enough, the game looks like it might start even.  10v10, 15v15 or 40v40 resepectively.  (If it’s lopsided, everything here goes out the window, but if it’s lopsided, you’re already looking to afk out, and I don’t blame you at all.)


The first thing to do is make sure you have the appropriate escape skills fairly close by, and you know how and when to use them.  Blink, Frost Nova, Blasy Wave, Dragon’s Breath etc. are wonderful spells.  However, their use in PvP changes somewhat from their use in PvE.  (We’ll go into that in a bit)


Second, look for some folks to partner with.  A mage running around alone in a battleground is a target.  A mage running around with a warrior and a warlock is a killer.  This point cannot be overemphasized.  At least 75% of people, when they see a group charging at them will pick the most dangerous person to kill first.  And, sadly, that’s not you.  Not in a battleground.


So, while they’re beating down the warrior, or trying to escape from the warlock’s various fears, or trying to escape from the rogue’s stuns, you kill them.  Fairly simple equation.


Third, never make yourself obvious.  Yes, there are points in Alterac Valley when charging through to the Stormpike Aid Station and spamming Arcane Explosion will get followers and get the horde closer to taking it, but as a rule, you do not want to be seen.  You have great range (If you’re a raiding mage, you have potentially the best range in the game).  Take advantage of it.  Sit back behind the warrior and the warlock, and hammer them with fireballs till they scream for mercy.


If they have to search to find you, then run closer in order to hit you, odds are good they’ll be dead before they can do much to you.






What you trarget and how you bring it down is what’s going to make the biggest difference in how you do.  Yes, you can run into the middle of a big group of mobs and fire off a Blast Wave, and start spamming Arcane Explosion.  You may even wind up on top of the damage charts by doing so.  But will it really kill anyone?  Will it accomplish something?  If yes, ok.  If no, then don’t bother.  You’re not there to get yourself killed (and that will get you killed)


If you’re properly back from the front lines, your most likely targets initially are going to be melee classes.  Feel free to find the big nasty warriors and paladins and hammer them with Fireballs.  Keep an eye out beyond that melee area though to see who’s targeting your warriors and paladins.


Once you have a picture of the larger environment around the combat, seek ways to make yourself useful.  You are very versatile, even in a battleground.  If you can sneak (HA) around towards their healer and sheep him, everyone will thank you for it once the fight’s over.  (Or at least they will if they notice that there’s a healer at all.  Which many don’t)


Combat Tactics


Much like a boss fight, if you can, wait a second or two to let everyone settle into their targets.  Once they have targets, if you hit them, they have to search for you.  The key here is, don’t wait too long.  Aggro doesn’t exist.  You just want to make sure that people don’t see you.  If they do, they’ll target you, and you then go into self-preservation mode.


Scorch vs. Fireball.  This is an interesting debate.  Scorch has less cast time, thus making it more likely you’ll get the spell off in the heat of battle, but Fireball will do more damage.  Unless someone’s getting healed (and if they are, you have the wrong target) a player shouldn’t last long enough for you to get the full Scorch debuff on them and then hit them with a Fireball.  Therefore, if you’re being attacked, or expect to be attacked, hit them with Scorch.  You have a better chance of getting the spell off.  If you’re at a good range, and expect to be able to cast uninterrupted, hit them with Fireball.


Polymorph.  This is one of your best resources, and many mages forget to use it.  Of course, a great deal of this is because everyone else ignores it.  But nonetheless, Polymorph can be a great spell in PvP.  Target their healers.  In most good battleground groups, someone will be healing.  That person isn’t a dps threat, so you don’t need to worry about killing him, but it’s inconvenient to let him keep casting.  Therefore, sheep him.  Feel free to set him as your focus so you can keep him down.  Remember polymorph lasts a sadly short time in PvP, so recast fairly regularly.  And when you get the fourth cast on him, you might as well switch to him and kill him since that’s all you get.


Make liberal use of Spellsteal.  Steal their buffs, particularly any healing buffs they get.  Any time you see renews or Lifeblooms on a target, steal them.  You can always use the healing in a battleground, and they need it far less than you.  (They must, or they’d have rolled a character on your side to begin with)  Also, Fortitude, Divine Spirit, various paladin blessings, etc. are wonderful things to steal.


Escape Tactics


Despite everything you do, there will be times when you’re targeted.  When that happens, you can do one of two things.  You can die gracefully or you can take them with you.  The key to taking them with you is to be able to escape from whatever fear, stun, or incapacitation they plan to put on you. 


Everyone wants to fear you, stun you, and keep you from casting.  Warriors will Intercept, Paladins will Hammer of Justice, Warlocks will Howl of Terror, Rogues will Cheap Shot, etc.  Everyone’s got one.  (Hey, where’s ours?  But that’s another issue)


Fortunately, you have several escape options, with various benefits and disadvantages.


Blast Wave.  This is, not surprisingly, one of your best escape options.  While it won’t freeze them like Frost Nova, it will slow them down considerably, which is nice.  Sadly, Frost Nova breaks on just about any damage whatsoever, and this will stick with them.  Paired with blink, this gives you range and that most precious commodity when you’re in combat:  time.


Dragon’s Breath.  Again, the disorientation is a good thing.  It will break on damage, but you’re more interested in getting away when you’re using this one.  This spell is the better choice when you have someone with you who can get in and melee them.  Otherwise, after it wears off, they’re right back after you.  Use this and either escape, or hit them with something large.


Frost Nova.  For most mages, this is a first choice.  It’s the fastest cooldown, and therefore the one most likely to be available.  However, it’s entirely too easy to escape from in my opinion.  Use this as a last resort.


Blink.  When you’re stunned, this is one of your only ways out of it.  20 yards of immediate distance, and a clearing of whatever stun happens to be on you.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is whatever stunned you is still out there.  And more than likely, coming right for you.  Therefore, take the time to use some kind of effect to slow them, stop them, or disorient them.  Buy yourself time to get a more powerful spell in the air at them.


Ice Block.  This is your fear/stun break of last resort.  Generally the only one that is useful on fears.  This will also clear all those obnoxious warlock debuffs they toss on you while you’re running around.  Therefore, that is the best time to use it.  A warrior’s Intimidating Shout will do nothing to you except make you run around (and generally out of melee range.  This doesn’t seem like a bad thing).  Same thing with a priest’s Psychic Scream.  Unless you’re being killed while feared, save the Ice Block.


Once you’re out of the stun, remember to strafe.  You want as much speed as you can get, and that means moving forward or strafing.  Moving forward will be a wonderful thing, but that’s typically called running away.  (A nice idea if you’ve got teammates ahead of you, but that’s not something you can count on.)  Alternatively, strafe, turn quickly and hit them.


Coming Next:  Battleground specific PvP.  Tactics and Strategies

Mage Spell Hit Explained

•July 18, 2008 • 6 Comments

Greetings fellow mages,

Ahh, the joy of being a PvE mage. You’ve hit 70, and hooked up with a fantastic raiding guild. Now what? Well, typically, the next step is to upgrade your gear, but now that you’re 70, and looking to raid, your needs have changed. Spell damage and spell crit will now no longer effectively cover it. Now, you need spell hit rating.

Every mage worth his or her salt knows they need it. We’ve all been told ‘You need spell hit on your gear,’ but why exactly does everyone keep harping on this? So let’s go over it here just to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Why Spell Hit

To begin, let’s understand a bit of the game’s mechanics. When fighting a mob your level, you have a base 96% chance to hit that mob with a spell. If the mob is one level higher than you, that chance drops to 95%. Two levels higher, and your hit chance is 94%. Three levels, and you only will hit 83% of the time.

For our purposes, any “boss” mob, i.e. any mob with a skull icon indicating level, is treated as a mob 3 levels higher than you. Therefore, you begin with an 83% chance to hit that mob. 17 times out of 100, you will see the word you least like to see when the mob does it, ‘Resist’

Your maximum spell hit rating is 99%, no matter how much spell hit rating you add, therefore, there is a hard limit on how much hit rating you will need.

To put this issue into numbers, let’s assume that your fireball does 2000 damage (a reasonable assumption I believe). The cast time on it is 3 seconds (We’ll deal with spell haste in a future column sometime). Your fire crit chance is 28%. Fire crits do 210% damage (Ignite is a beautiful talent). And the fight lasts 8 minutes.

If we assume that you are constantly casting, and have no mana problems (I see you have a shadow priest in your group), and no spell hit rating, you have the ability to cast 160 Fireballs. Of those 160, 133 will hit. 45 Fireballs would have crit had they all hit, however, since only 133 hit, only 38 of them will crit. This results in 349,600 damage dealt during the 8-minute fight, or 728 dps. Very respectable in and of itself. However …

If we assume that you have sufficient spell hit to achieve 99% spell hit, then of your previously mentioned 160 fireballs, 158 will hit, and 44 of those will crit. That’s 412,800 damage total, or 860 dps.

With simply the addition of spell hit rating, changing nothing at all about our damage, cast time, or anything else, we can achieve almost 140 extra dps. To achieve that dps increase by adding + spell damage, we would need to add approximately 275 spell damage. And the more damage we do with our Fireballs, the greater the dps increase will be for adding the spell hit rating.

How much Spell Hit

So, now that we’ve concluded that having that spell hit rating would be a good thing, let’s talk about how much we need. With absolutely no help from talents, a mage requires 202 spell hit rating to reach 99% chance to hit. Ouch! Not fun. Fortunately, there are talents that will help us with that.

The first, and easiest place to get a spell hit boost is with the talent ‘Elemental Precision.’ Located in the first row of the Frost talent tree, you can place up to 3 points in this talent, and gain 3% chance to hit with all spells. This will reduce the spell hit rating that you will need outside of talents to 164.

The other talent that you can use to gain spell hit rating applies only to Arcane spells. Arcane Focus, a first row Arcane talent, can give up to 10% spell hit rating for Arcane spells only. Whereas Arcane is not a typical raiding spec for a mage, we will ignore this talent for now.

Outside of these talents, we must look to our gear, gems, and enchants for spell hit rating.

I will not go into depth in this article about the many places where gear can be found with spell hit rating, as there are too many at all levels of raiding. All I will say is this: If you need spell hit rating in your gear, you have the ability to get it. Any place where you can raid, you can find gear with spell hit rating.

For gems, you have several options. Great Dawnstones (+8 spell hit rating) tend to be the ideal gem if you are quite a ways away from the spell hit cap. Or, Veiled Noble Topaz (+4 spell hit rating, +5 spell damage) is the way to go if you are very close to the spell hit cap.

As for enchants, the Enchant Gloves – Spellstrike (+15 spell hit rating) enchant is definitely the way to go to reach the hit cap.

So, to conclude …

With Elemental Precision as a talent, a raiding mage needs 164 spell hit rating. That 164 spell hit is the equivalent of approximately 275 spell damage.

Therefore, as a mage, if you are not at the spell hit cap, you can sacrifice up to approximately +25 spell damage in order to gain +15 spell hit rating.

Good luck out there, and I look forward to seeing you at the top of the damage charts (but don’t pull agro)

Next time … PvP as a PvE mage.

Healer Tips for Zul’Aman

•July 11, 2008 • 3 Comments

Since the readers that would actually benefit from this healer specific post are likely the ones that aren’t breezing through Bear runs, I’m going to post the bosses in order of difficulty, instead of the typical kill order for the Timed Event.  As the lesser geared raids attempt these bosses, it would be wise to stick with 3 full time healers, instead of trying to down these bosses with only 2.  Due to the nature of this instance, where most of the boss fights and trash pulls provide raid wide damage, the best synergy between healers would be Priest, Shaman, Druid.  Holy Paladins provide great single target healing, but Circle of Healing (CoH), Prayer of Mending (PoM), Prayer of Healing (PoH), Binding Heal, Chain Heal, and multiple rolling Lifeblooms are all key to making this instance a breeze on the healing front.

I will be writing these tips assuming you have already read up on all of your boss strategies, as these tips will be more focused on making the most out of your abilities to maximize the chance of success for the encounter.  I’ll also admit, that most of these tips are mainly for Priest abilities, but I’ll be including other helpful healer tips as well.


Nalorakk – Bear Avatar

For all intents and purposes, Nalorakk is as close to tank and spank fight as you will get in this instance.  The raid will take minimal damage, and does not require any movement by anyone after the initial pull.  Therefore, the healers will be primarily focused on the main tank for each of the two phases.  Since the only reason DPS classes will be interrupted is during Troll phase Surge and Bear phase Deafening Roar, there is a good possibility that some may be threat capped.  In order to help the tanks, Priests should cast PoM as often as possible on the tanks to increase their TPS as well as helping to heal the raid. 

During the Troll phase, the healers will want to conserve and regen as much mana as possible, as the damage in this phase is fairly easy to heal, and you’ll want to put as much healing throughput as possible into the Bear phase.  During the troll phase, it is a good idea to have 2 healers stay on the dedicated tank, and have the other healer raid heal.  The raid healing in Troll phase is minimal, and only consists of healing the secondary tank after Brutal Swipe and Surge targets.  The reasoning behind deciding who should focus on raid healing is that the other two healers need to have tunnel vision and make sure the primary tank stays alive.  There is possibility of spike damage from Brutal Swipe, so good coordination should be used to make sure all 3 of the healers aren’t trying to heal minimal raid damage.  Druids make great raid healers during Troll phase because they can “fire and forget” about most raid damage, all while keeping Lifeblooms on the primary tank.  Another thing Priests can do during Troll phase is to use Binding Heal if they are the Surge target.  This will allow you to still maintain tunnel vision on the tank, and help out the raid healer as well.  If you find that you’re having healing problems and all 3 need to be on the tanks full time, DPS stopping to bandage is also a viable option since the damage to the raid is sporadic and fairly minimal.

For the Bear phase, this is where having a Druid in the raid really comes in handy.  The Bear phase will require much more healing output than Troll phase, so healers need to be on their toes the whole time.  What makes this phase hard to heal is the Deafening Roar that silences the raid for 2 seconds.  These two seconds are crucial time lost when trying to keep your tank alive through stacking Bleed effects that get worse and worse as the phase continues.  Having a Druid keep as many HoTs as possible on the Bear phase tank will help mitigate the damage during the silence, and having a Priest Renew and Shield the tank just before the silence will help as well.  At the end of the Bear phase, when transitioning back into Troll form, the Bear tank will need some additional heals as the Bleed effects wear off.  Make sure either you keep your HoTs on the Bear tank a bit longer or make sure your Troll phase raid healer is there to pick up that little bit of extra damage.

If for some reason one of the tanks die during the fight, it is possible to Battle Rez them and get them back into the tanking rotation, so save this ability for them.  This must be done as quickly as possible if Nalorakk is in Troll form as to prevent your solo tank taking a 14k hit from Brutal Swipe.  If a healer dies, it is much easier just to reset the fight instead of wasting this ability on them, unless it means the difference of rescuing a hostage or not.


 Akil’zon – Eagle Avatar

Akil’zon will be a test of your raid positioning and the ability to strategize movement as a whole.  Healing this fight will be fairly intensive for guilds first attempting this boss.  Priests and Shaman will shine as healers here as there is constant raid wide damage that must constantly be healed through for duration of the fight.  Druids or Paladins will likely be tank healing, as Druid HoTs may not heal the raid fast enough.  The damage taken throughout the raid needs to be healed as soon as possible as it is mostly random and can be the target of multiple spells and abilities in succession. 

Priests should be casting PoM every cooldown, as it is a good possibility that most of the charges will be used up by the time you can cast it again.  Priests will be using Binding Heal often to keep themselves topped off and not losing casting time on the rest of the raid.  Even though the Priests will be raid healing, keeping Renew up on the tank will help mitigate the low damage the tank takes.  The raid will take increasing amount of damage, especially if your strategy chooses to ignore the Soaring Eagles

Priests should coordinate with the other healers so that when everyone collapses during Electrical Storm, the Priests can PoH the caster group and heal them to full, while the Shaman may Chain Heal through the Melee group.  This will provide the most efficient means of topping off the raid.  Priests with CoH will be able to top off both groups with relative ease in a very short amount of time, so the other healers may choose to regen instead of overhealing.


Halazzi – Lynx Avatar

This boss is fairly straightforward from a healer point of view.  The key to defeating Halazzi is keeping the tanks alive after Saber Lash during phase 1 and dispelling Flame Shock in phase 2.  During phase 3 he will combine both of these abilities, so healing output will be the greatest here.  If only one person is assigned to dispel duties, they need to make sure they are in range of the whole raid so that nobody is out of range.  The damage from Flame Shock is significant and you can’t afford to take the healing away from the tanks, so quick dispelling is a must.  If you find yourself needing to keep all 3 healers actively healing during this fight, try to have a DPS class handle the dispels so that healers can focus on keeping everyone alive.

At the start of phase 2 (75,50, and 25%), Halazzi will Transfigure and deal about 4000 damage to the whole raid.  At the same time, Spirit of the Lynx will spawn, so Priests should Fade and Druids should attempt to avoid having and HoTs ticking during this transition to ensure not getting healing aggro from the add.  This fight just repeats itself over and over until Halazzi is down to 25% when healing will be slightly more intensive, so once you master the transition between P1 and P2, this fight should be fairly simple. 


Jan’alai – Dragonhawk Avatar

Jan’alai will be the first true test of your healers.  This is likely the most mana intensive fight in the instance, especially if your raid hasn’t mastered the techniques of the fight, so it will require aggressive mana potion usage or else your healers will find themselves running dry prematurely.  There will be intense raid healing required, and those that take damage from Flame Breath will need to be topped off as soon as possible because a second one will likely kill them. 

Priests should cast PoM often to help mitigate some of the raid damage.  When the Hatchlings spawn, PoM should be cast on the add tank every cooldown to help with threat.  If for some reason Priests pull healing threat, you should Fade the adds back to the tank.  If Fade is on cooldown, and your tank isn’t able to pull them off of you immediately, don’t hesitate to Psychic Scream to get them off of you, as it’s imperative to the raid that you live.  Binding Heal should be used whenever you take damage because there will always be another target that needs heals as well.

During the Bomb Phase, this is the best time to top everyone off as quick as possible so that you can regen as much mana as you can while outside the five second rule. 

It’s a good idea to assign specific healing assignments in this fight.  You’ll need one tank healer, one add tank healer, and a raid healer.  When there is no add tank active, that designated healer should help raid heal.  The raid healer will not only be healing raid damage, but will also be helping the other two healers with their tanks.  The add tank will take a lot of damage when his debuffs stack, so be prepared to throw extra heals his way.  Also, at the 5 minute mark (or at 25%, whichever comes first), Jan’alai will Enrage and increase his attack speed and melee damage by 50%, so the healers may need to help out the MT healer some at that time.  Even if it’s just throwing a Renew or Lifeblooms to help soften the extra damage, it will help noticeably. 

Once your raid masters the fight and learns how to spread out effectively, the raid healing damage will go down significantly.  Until then, be prepared to be chain casting throughout the fight in order to be successful. 


Hex Lord Malacrass

Once you have defeated the four Loa Forest gods, you be allowed to enter the chamber of Hex Lord Malacrass.  This fight has the potential to be as healing intensive as Jan’alai, so be prepared to use mana potions soon and often.  There are two key elements to this fight, controlling adds and surviving Spirit Bolts

If your raid is lucky enough to bring along a Priest for Shadow Protection, this fight will be much easier.  If you’re blessed with a Holy Priest, this fight will be even easier.  If this Priest has CoH talented, you’d better realize how lucky you are as this is the MOST USEFUL healer you will be bringing along for this fight.  As Priests, we have the most tools available to make surviving Spirit Bolts trivial.  The biggest asset we have will by far be Circle of Healing.  Due to the spell pushback of the Bolts, an instant cast AoE heal cannot be topped.  As long as the raid groups up somewhat during Bolts, a single CoH priest will be able to mitigate enough damage to the raid to make this fight successful. 

Ten seconds before Bolts begin, cast PoM on a non-tank raid member (yourself would be a good choice).  The reasoning for this is that you want your PoM to be a maximum 5 charges when Spirit Bolts begin, and you want your cooldown to be available again when Bolts start.  About 6-8 seconds before Spirit Bolts is to be cast, take the time to Renew 3-4 of your lowest HP raiders; I usually choose the 3 healers and a Mage.  This will provide your squishiest raiders an even bigger buffer during Bolts to survive.  Once Bolts Begin, your previously cast PoM will be used up and effectively heal around 10k damage in 2.5 seconds (5 jumps 0.5 seconds apart from Bolt damage).  As soon as all 5 charges have been expended, immediately cast PoM again on your lowest HP raider.  Priests may choose to use PW:S on a raider with low health, although I recommend primarily using Binding Heal during Bolts.  Of course, if the Priest has CoH, you will only need to Cast PoM every cooldown and spam CoH, alternating groups to keep everyone around the same health threshold.  Priests can use PoH after the bolts are over to top up their group, or even during if you have a Paladin in your group.

Having a Paladin using Concentration Aura in the Healing group will be more beneficial than Shadow Resistance Aura, as the 35% chance of ignoring spell interruption when damaged stacks with healing talents such as 2/2 Healing Focus (Priest), 5/5 Healing Focus (Shaman), 5/5 Nature’s Focus, and 5/5 Spiritual Focus, to provide uninterrupted casting during Spirit Bolts.  This is a fight for Priests and Shaman to shine, as they will have the most useful AoE healing abilities.  If no Paladin is available for this Aura, Shaman should cast Earth Shield on themselves for extra resistance to the pushback.  Priests should only use PW:S as an emergency for low health players, and not for preventing push back, as by the time your GCD is up to cast another healing spell, you’ll already have been hit by 3 Bolts which would almost all but eliminate your Shield anyways.  There are much better choices for your GCD than PW:S during Bolts.

The other element to this fight is controlling Hex Lord’s lackeys.  This may require a Priest to Shackle (make sure to have your macro ready), or a Druid to Hibernate one of the adds.  If this is required from one of the healers, make sure to refresh your crowd control right before Bolts start, so that you don’t have to worry about getting it under control during the possible pushback and worry about it doing more damage to the raid.  This could quickly cause a wipe.

Once you have mastered these two elements, the rest of the fight will be easy to handle. 



Zul’jin is the last boss in ZA, and once you’re able to fight him, you’ll be able to defeat him.  He is not as hard to master as others in the instance, and if your healers can handle other fights, Zul’jin shouldn’t be a problem either.  This fight consists of five phases, and each phase will require different focus from each of the healers.

Phase 1 will go rather quickly, and the only thing to worry about is Grievous Throw.  Setting Zul’jin as your focus target will allow you to swap to the Grievous Throw victim as fast as possible.  Due to the nature of this ability, Druids might not be the best choice to heal this target, and may choose to stay on the tank. 

During Phase 2, there will be minimal raid damage, and Priests should have Mass Dispel on their hotbar for quick use when Creeping Paralysis is cast.  As long as everyone is grouped up during this phase, this debuff can be taken care of with one cast.

Phase 3 is the Phase that will be the hardest for raids to overcome.  Every time you cast a spell, you will be dealt 1250 Nature damage from Energy Storm.  Since you will hardly ever get to stand still during this phase, due to the 4 twisters chasing after random players, healing will be very hard to manage.  As long as people are good at kiting, there shouldn’t be too much raid damage.  Priests should cast PoM on themselves every cooldown.  By doing this, you will heal yourself from the damage acquired via casting, and provide another 8k healing throughout the raid with a single cast and without having to stop to heal.  If you have sustained any damage by getting hit by the twisters, Priests should abuse Binding Heal and Shaman should Chain Heal through themselves.  You will be casting so little during this phase that you’ll likely have a full mana bar for phase 4 and 5.

At the beginning of Phase 4, make sure Zul’jin is your Focus Target if you haven’t already set this up.  This is so that you will be able to switch to the Claw Rage victim as soon as possible, as this person will take roughly 16k damage in only 6 seconds.  I normally don’t advocate excessive Flash Heal usage in fights, but due to the quick damage that is dealt and the fact that your mana bar was filled during P3, I give my full blessing to spam it on Claw Rage targets in this situation, especially since the fight is almost over.  There will be a substantial amount of raid healing required during this phase due to the Lynx Rush ability, so be prepared to be flexible in healing.  This phase will require the most healing of all the 5 phases.

Once you’ve reached Phase 5, as long as half your raid is alive, you should be able down Zul’jin with minimal problems.  This phase is the most simple, and only requires some raid healing due to Flame Whirl and avoiding standing in the flames.  Once you’ve reached Phase 5, you might as well go crazy on heals because you don’t want to relive Phase 3 all over again if you wipe.

Reianshin Intro

•July 8, 2008 • 2 Comments

Greetings everyone,


 Rei chillin' with ThrallI am Reianshin (call me Rei). 

I am, as Birkin mentioned, a guildie of his and a fellow officer in Draconis Occisoris.  I have been playing a mage for about 3 years now (Is it painful to anyone else when you write how long you’ve been playing, or is that just me?).  I also have a 70 priest, a 67 paladin whom I’m hoping to level to 70 shortly, a 65 hunter (retired) on another server, and a few (much) lower level alts.  





I am happily living with Chiann, another player in the guild, who enjoys computer games as much as I do.  She has two children, who I’ve effectively adopted, a girl (14 years old) and a boy (11 years old).  Needless to say, that can make for interesting raid nights, putting kids to bed right as we reach Magtheridon.


I also have an MBA in Finance from the Kelley School of Business, so I know there’s plenty to life outside of World of Warcraft.  I play because I like the people I play with.  I am in the best guild in the U.S. (he said modestly) and it has some of the best people who play the game in it.


I’ve been playing computer games since I was about 13 and I walked into a store (We had an old Apple IIe at the time) and saw Wizardry.  I loved that game.  I spent many hours playing it and others.  Bard’s Tale, Ultima, King’s Quest.  I loved those old game series.


More recently, I played Diablo II (and I am quite looking forward to the eventual release of Diablo 3), Dungeon Keeper 2, Civilization (pretty much every version), and Sierra’s city-builder games.


I began playing World of Warcraft after a friend I worked with convinced me to try for 10 days.  Until that point I had a strict policy ‘I’ll pay to get the game, but I won’t pay to play the game.’  So much for that policy.  Though, at this time, I am managing to hold myself to one game that I pay to play.


When discussing the game with Zzirad (the friend who got me into the game), I remember thinking, ‘A mage!  That sounds like just too much fun.’  Hence, my first major character was a mage.  And while he has been frustrating at many times, I have been satisfied.  Along the way, I’ve had the opportunity to PvP to rank 9 (Legionairre) back in the days when PvP was ranked, to raid most of the old world raids (ZG, MC, Ony, AQ20), to start several collections (Rei collects non-combat pets and exalted reputations, my priest collects mounts, and my paladin is looking for something to collect,.  Suggestions are being taken)


Now, as a guild we’re raiding Serpentshrine Cavern, and have recently downed Leotheras.  We’re hoping to be in Black Temple or Sunwell Plateau before the expansion comes out, and I believe we have a reasonable chance of it.


On this blog I expect that most of my posts will focus on the mage character.  I expect that I’ll also post occasionally about the paladin, or the hunter classes as they’re the next two that I know best.  I may occasionally post about the priest class, though with Birkin here, I doubt I’ll be able to say anything he hasn’t already said.  Occasionally I’ll also post about guild-related things  That’s how I expect things will go for my posts here.


So, that’s a bit about me.  Tell me about yourself.

Back in Action

•July 8, 2008 • Leave a Comment

After a few months off, I have decided to fire up the blogging engine once again.  I’m still not positive why I stopped in the first place.  It could have been that I wasn’t as excited in game as I once was, and the time between expansions had taken its toll on me as a player.  It could be that I found it was much harder than I thought to come up with topics to write about more often than I’d like.  I could also blame it on new work responsibilities and attempting to balance my home time and my game time.  The bottom line is that I stopped, but I now have the motivation needed to begin again.

One of the biggest motivating factors for me is having someone else to blog with.  I reached out to my guild to bring in someone that I think would benefit the WoW blogger community.  I decided that having an additional Author on my blog, with whom I share my free time with, would be a huge help in motivating me to write.

I am pleased to introduce a fellow officer of mine, and a new Mage flavor to the blog, Reianshin!  When reaching out for another Author, Rei was my secret top choice when I was thinking about those that might be interested in writing with me, so I am very pleased that he decided to join me. 

With the new outlook on the blog, I don’t want to set any unrealistic expectations for myself or you all as readers.  That wouldn’t be fair to anyone, so I’m going to leave it open for now and we’ll see how it works out.  The only thing I know is that I enjoy writing, and I hope you enjoy reading it.