Gearing up the Mage for Raiding
Gearing up to raid is a rite of passage for many. Many guilds or pubby raids will not take in people who do not have the gear for the instances. Often its not even on the principle of DPS, healing, or tanking ability. That could be very well covered. Its more on the principle of showing that youre dedicated and ready to take on more difficult content. Of course, other times it is about being able to actually contribute.
To gear up as a Mage youll have a lot of things working for you. Most cloth falls into either healing cloth or damage cloth and a lot of times they can switch with each other. You need to hit, spell damage, and spell crit for raiding along with Stamina and Intellect. Most cloth items have these stats on them making it effortless to look for items with the stats you need.
What Youre Looking For
The following are the things youll be looking for on the various armor and weapons youll be equipping yourself in.
- Hit Rating: One of the single biggest statistics when youre still in lower grade gear. To Hit works to keep enemies from dodging or resisting your spells. This means less misses which equates to more damage. Youll need about 446 total hit to cap out. Talents like Precision and Arcane Focus can bring that number down by about 100 points, but you still probably wont even hit that cap before you start raiding. Try to get as much spell hit as you can since it matters the most. If your spells dont hit then you cant do damage. This is the stat that most people are going to be judging you for the most.
- Spell Power: A simple one. Spell power gives you more damage which means your critical strikes will hit for more and your spells will do more overall damage.
- Critical Strike: Stacking critical strike increases your chance to inflict more critical strikes on your enemies. Getting this as high as you can is important as a Mage.
- Stamina & Intellect: Stamina equates into more life and Intellect means more mana (which isnt that great) and more spell power. You dont have to seek these out as theyll come with the cloth you get, but theyre powerful allies in your quest to buff yourself up with gear.
- Haste: Haste is a good stat, but Im including it only to note that you shouldnt focus on it but its alright to grab it.
As you can see there arent a whole lot of things youve got to worry about other than Hit. So lets start looking at what youll need to be grabbing.
Buffing Yourself Up
Before we get into gear lets talk about food, flasks, and what potions to bring.
- Food: A Great Feast (35 spell power/30 Stamina) or Fish Feast (46 spell power/40 Stamina) should be out before a raid so be sure to grab some food from there. You can summon your own restorative food (or a table for others) but youll want some buff food of your own. Firecracker Salmon gives 46 spell power and 40 stamina while Poached Nettlefish will give you 30 critical strike and 40 Stamina. There are similar foods that give less and might be cheaper, but having some buff food of your own is good if you die and need to be buffed up again. If you arent hit rating capped then Snapper Extreme will give 40 hit rating and 40 Stamina.
- Flasks: Flask of the Frost Wyrm is all you need.
- Potions: Bring Potions of Speed along with Runic Healing and Mana. If you feel the encounter isnt going to need a restorative potion then use your speed potion along with your trinket and/or Icy Veins to bump up your DPS.
Da Phat Lootz
The loot youll be looking to plunder will come from one of four sources. Questing, purchasing off of the auction house, through heroic instances, or from reputation. Luckily we have a Mage reputation guide here that goes over how to get any of the items mentioned here along with other alternatives if reputation is something you enjoy farming.
Quests wont offer a lot. Outside of a trinket and wand there isnt a lot that isnt found from instances, reputation, or the Auction House. The Auction House doesnt house a whole lot but what it does it usually expensive (it varies server by server). You can farm up the materials yourself and save a good deal if you can find a tailor to craft you the pieces you want.
Instances and reputation work alongside one another. For any reputation you can champion you can also be farming emblems and gear. Emblems are kind of a sub-option of running heroics. Every slot can be filled with emblem gear and itd be fine for raiding (although thats various tedious and will not present the best in stats).
Being hit capped is the most important thing for raiding so aim to get as much hit rating as you can. A lot of spell power and critical strike is needed as a Mage too so be sure to be stacked up on that. Hit points arent that important but to do Naxx youll want over 13-15,000 for sure. http://wow-heroes.com/ is another good way to judge your worthiness. If you reach 1,500 scoring with their system then youre considered naxx ready. The best way to raise your score is keep getting better gear.
Naxxramas requires at least a 1,500 WoW-Heroes score to do well in.
Enchants and gems are needed too of course. Remember to focus on gems that provide hit and enchants of a similar design. Popular enchants are super stats to chest, Greater Inscription of the Storm for the shoulders, Arcanum of Burning Mysteries for the head, spellthread for the pants, spell power on bracers and gloves, and spell power or crit/hit on the weapon. Rigid Autumns Glow gems are yellow gems with 15 hit rating and generally go for 30-80 gold on servers which isnt bad.
If youre wondering whats needed for heroics then know that people arent too picky about DPS. Just have more than a 100-200 hit rating and lots of spell power and youll be fine.
Slot by Slot Recommendations
As a note most badge gear (Emblems of Heroism) isnt listed but assumed. You can always grab gear with Emblems of Heroism and do alright when gearing yourself up.
If you see some gear from a heroic you want but dont have the stats for heroics relax. Look through for reputation/auction house related gear. Get those pieces and youll be heroic ready in no time.
For the head slot you wont find any wizard hats here but you will find some hats that might as well be. There are two pre-raid choices. One thats easy to get and one thats a lot more time consuming but has more beefy stats.
- Hat of Wintery Doom [Auction House | Tailoring]
69 Stamina, 46 Intellect, Meta/Red Socket, 8 Intellect socket bonus, 44 hit rating, 53 spell power.
This hat is it for pre-raiding hats. Its cheap, rounding out at about 300gold buyout, and has a whooping 44 hit rating. Cheap, effective, and socket room makes this very attractive.
- Titan-forged Hood of Dominance [Wintergrasp Marks of Honor]
102 Stamina, 45 Intellect, Meta/Red Socket, 8 resilience rating socket bonus, 44 hit rating, 43 resilience rating, 87 spell power.
The above hat cant compare to the stats on this one, but this hat requires 40 wintergrasp marks which can take awhile to farm up and is PvP related. Its a good PvP hat though.
There is a lot in the way of pre-raid necklaces but a lot of them dont offer spell hit or are aimed more towards healers. Here are some that aim to impress for raiding.
- Choker of Betrayal [Quest: Betrayal in Zuldrak]
27 Stamina, 25 Intellect, Red Socket, 24 haste rating, 29 spell power
Your basic starting necklace. It comes from a soloable elite quest that is started by Stefan at Ebon Watch.
- Emelines Locket [Quest: The Admiral Revealed]
20 Stamina, 24 Intellect, Yellow Socket, 4 Hit Rating socket bonus, 25 hit rating, 40 spell power
An even better quest necklace with a good deal of hit on it. Youll get it from the quest The Admiral Revealed in Icecrown, but be careful! Its a 5 person quest.
- Encircling Burnished Gold Chains [25 Emblems of Heroism]
49 Stamina, 38 Intellect, 34 Spirit, 25 hit rating, 59 spell power
Emblem gear is easy to farm for, but its an ok upgrade from Emelines.
- Necklace of Taldaram [Heroic Ahnkahet: The Old Kingdom: Prince Taldaram]
43 Stamina, 28 Intellect, 43 hit rating, 50 spell power
While not as good as the badge necklace I would still consider it the best pre-raid necklace just because of how much hit it has.
There is just one cloak I want to recommend because its the easiest, its got the high stats, and its nearly given to you. The alternatives are a cloak from the Post-partum Aggression which is the end of the Hemet Nesingwary line.
- Shroud of Dedicated Research [Honored Kirin Tor]
28 Stamina, 29 Intellect, 38 haste rating, 46 spell power
You should be honored with the Kirin Tor at 80 or really close to it, so its a free cape. Otherwise do the Hemet quest.
There isnt a lot of shoulder options and the two you get are nearly identical. Luckily one is generally cheap off of the auction house.
- Mantle of the Tribunal [Tribunal Chest Halls of Stone]
45 Stamina, 59 Intellect, 42 haste rating, 68 spell power
- Dark Runic Mantle [BoE from Halls of Stone Heroic Instance & Auction House]
42 Stamina, 44 Intellect, 50 haste rating, 59 spell power
Less spell power and int, more haste but you can grab it for 200gold on some servers since its BoE. Not a bad deal.
There are two main epic crafted sets. Ebonweave and Spellweave. Spellweave will have more haste and spirit while Ebonweave will have hit and stamina. Ill list Ebonweave but if youre hit capped then Spellweave is an ok option, otherwise always go with Ebonweave.
- Ebonweave Robe [Tailoring | Auction House]
67 Stamina, 80 Intellect, 68 hit rating, 105 spell power
Expect to pay a premium, but its one of the best pre-raid robes youll get.
- Water-Drenched Robe [Heroic Violet Hold: Ichoron]
58 Stamina, 60 Intellect, Blue Socket, Red Socket, 62 hit rating, 73 spell power
Not as good as Ebonweave but free.
The shirt slot is mostly just for fun. As a note, Mages often find themselves in robes making the shirt slot useless so buying an expensive shirt item for the looks is often ill advised.
- Ebonweave Gloves [Tailoring | Auction House]
49 Stamina, 66 Intellect, 51 hit rating, 77 spell power
Expensive, but good. Again if youre hit capped go with Spellweave which is the healers set for the haste.
- Gloves of Glistening Runes
49 Stamina, 51 Intellect, 44 spirit, Red Socket (4 crite strike bonus), 36 critical strike rating, 68 spell power.
Kinda tedious to farm for, but like in most situations, a free pair of gloves is a free pair of gloves.
Be sure to use a belt buckle on your belt to get another gem slot.
- Sash of the Wizened Wyrm [Honored with Wyrmrest Accord]
37 Stamina, 51 Intellect, Yellow Socket (4 hit rating bonus), 40 hit rating, 60 spell power
40 hit rating for a reputation level thats rather easy to get? Amazing! Grab these and dont waste your time searching for other things.
In the legs department youre given a choice between running Utgarde Pinnacle or picking up some rather cheap legs off the auction house. The instance legs are a lot better, but the speed and ease of Black Duskweave is very appealing.
- Sorrowgraves Breeches (Svala Sorrowgrave in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle)
66 Stamina, 71 Intellect, Red Socket (4 crit strike bonus), 59 critical strike rating, 82 spell power
A really nice pair of paints from Sorrowgrave, a shame that theyre used.
- Black Duskweave Leggings [BoE Tailoring]
60 Stamina, 50 Intellect, 69 haste rating, 81 spell power
Cheap, effective, and workable. It might favor haste over critical strike but thats not a big deal.
Not a lot of nice foot gear pre-Naxx out there. Run (literally) with whatever you can get for this slot.
- Clerics Linen Shoes (Heroic Nexus)
31 Stamina, 44 Intellect, Red Socket (6 stamina bonus), 57 haste rating, 59 spell power
Pick one of the crafted rings and then run UK until you can get Ingvars awesome ring. The JC rings may cost a good bit, but quality comes at a price.
- Ring of Northern Tears [Jewelcrafted]
Blue Socket (4 hit rating bonus), 31 hit rating, 39 critical strike, 36 spell power
For those with light purses this will work wonders.
- Titanium Spellshock Ring [Jewelcrafted]
48 Stamina, 33 Intellect, 42 critical strike, 49 spell power
If your purse is a bit heavier than this is the superior option.
- Annhyldes Ring [Heroic Utgarde Keep: Ingvar the Plunderer]
50 Stamina, 33 Intellect, 49 haste rating, 59 spell power
Grab one of the first trinkets and then pick up Cannoneers Fuselighter. Its awesome and easy to get from a quest youve probably done leveling up.
- Sundial of the Exiled [40 Emblems]
84 critical strike rating, harmful spells have a chance to give you 590 spell power for 10 seconds
- Forge Ember [Heroic Halls of Stone: Sjonnir the Ironshaper]
73 critical strike rating, chance on damage or healing spells to increase spell power by 512 for 10 seconds.
- Cannoneers Fuselighter [The Last Line of Defense in Icecrown]
54 critical strike rating, 281 spell power for 20 seconds on use (2 minute cooldown)
Weapon + Off-Hand
I can only recommend one combo and its what I consider the best and easiest to get. Youll need 25 emblems and Kirin Tor Revered. With their tabard on youll be able to get both at the same time making for this combo a super easy way to give yourself over 400 spell power and 38 hit rating.
- Flameheart Spell Scalpel [Kirin Tor Revered] + Ward of the Violet Citadel [25 Emblems]
28 Stamina, 33 Intellect, 34 hit rating, 25 critical strike, 355 spell power + 49 stamina, 34 intellect, 38 hit rating, 25 critical strike, 59 spell power
There are two options and the haste rating on the second one makes it superior, but the first is the easiest to snag.
- Wand of Blinding Light [The Cleansing of Jinthakalar in Dragonblight]
15 hit rating, 17 haste rating, 25 spell power
- Wand of the Sanlayn [Prince Keleseth in Heroic Utgarde Keep]
14 hit rating, 34 haste rating, 21 spell power
Pick up a pair of these beauties on the auction house for cheap and relax.
- Black Duskweave Wristwraps [BoE Tailoring]
33 Stamina, 27 Intellect, 28 haste rating, 46 spell power
Well thats whats needed to gear up a Mage for raiding. If youve got questions or if you think weve missed some phat loot then join our ongoing discussion on the forums.