Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rift Raiding: Just the Buffs

Bluedot has a great buff/debuff list up on his site, but it's lacking some crucial information that I constantly find myself needing in order to resolve who should cast what in raids. This is his list of buffs with all of that extra detail. I'll be doing a debuff equivalent article soon.

It should be noted that I've been playing Mage for the most part, with some Rogue. I'm almost certain to have gotten some details wrong with respect to Warrior and Cleric, so please double-check my work and send me some feedback if you find a problem.

Endurance Aura

Shared Vigor
Soul: Mage/Archon
Talents: Blood Pact
Self debuff: -10 endurance (-5 with talent, -0 with Searing Vitality self-buff)
Raid buff: 40 endurance (48 with talent)
Duration: 5 minutes
Aspect of the Fallen Hero
Soul: Warrior/Warlord
Raid buff: 45 endurance
Duration: Toggle on
Bond of Vigor
Soul: Warrior/Beastmaster
Talents: Iron Bonds, Shared Bonds
Raid buff: 35 endurance (45.5 with talent)
Duration: Toggle on
Endurance Aura Conclusions:
Beastmaster buff costs 6 talent points to get, so unless you have a 51 Beastmaster, ignore their bond. The tradeoff is: Archon survivability vs. 3 points of endurance for the raid. If your raid is having trouble dealing with AoE damage and the like, go Archon and focus heals on them. If you don't need the extra 3 points, then have a Warlord use their aspect.
Note about Archon Auras:
Like all 5 Archon auras, Shared Vigor benefits the Archon through 3 talents that they must take in order to get to their 51-point ability: Altruist which is quite ignorable since Archons don't run out of mana; Power in Numbers which just increases personal dps, which is not an Archon's priority; and Speed in Numbers which decreases the Archon's cast times. Now, the first two don't bring a noticeable benefit to the raid, but the third one does. It's small, but Archons have multi-second cast time spells which provide buffs to the raid such as Earthen Barrage (see below). Because these spells have a cooldown that is longer than or as long as their buff duration (depending on the spell) the cast time is always down-time for the buff. By reducing the cast time, you reduce the down-time by a small amount. Because the effect of a damage buff on a 20-man raid is large, even a small change in its up-time is significant. How significant depends a lot on your Archon and what rotation they're using, how much they have to move and other factors, but it can't be ignored. Remember, though, the first rule is survival. If your Archon can't stay alive, that's a huge impediment to progression.

Base Stat Auras

Courage of the Eagle
Soul: Cleric/Shaman
Raid buff: 40 wisdom
Duration: Toggle on
Courage of the Bear
Soul: Cleric/Shaman
Raid buff: 40 strength
Duration: Toggle on
Courage of the Jaguar
Soul: Cleric/Shaman
Raid buff: 40 dexterity
Duration: Toggle on
Vitality of Stone
Soul: Mage/Archon
Talents: Strength of Stone
Raid buff: 40 strength, dexterity, intelligence and wisdom (52 with talent)
Self debuff: -45 strength, dexterity, intelligence and wisdom (pillaging stone gives +64, talented)
Duration: 5 min
Bond of Feline Grace
Soul: Warrior/Beastmaster
Talents: Iron BondsShared Bonds
Raid buff: 35 dexterity (45.5 with talent)
Bond of Might
Soul: Warrior/Beastmaster
Talents: Iron BondsShared Bonds
Raid buff: 35 strength (45.5 with talent)
Intellect Aura Conclusions
Beastmaster and Shaman debuffs should be benched in favor of Archon buffs. Archons don't need the extra int/wis/dex/str in order to do their job (buff the raid and debuff the targets) and they give a bigger boost to stats.

Endurance Buffs

Neddra’s Might
Soul: Mage/Warlock
Raid buff: 40 endurance
Duration: 1 hour
Fanfare of Vigor
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: Stage Presence
Raid buff: 40 endurance (52 endurance with talent)
Duration: 1 hour
Noble Blessing
Soul: Cleric/Sentinel
Raid buff: 40 endurance
Duration: 1 hour
Life of the Era
Soul: Cleric/Purifier
Raid buff: 40 endurance
Duration: 1 hour
Aegis of Salvation
Soul: Warrior/Paladin
Raid buff: 40 endurance
Duration: 1 hour
Endurance Buff Conclusions:
No one but Bard should be casting these End buffs, since talents increase the bard's buff to 52.

Intelligence and Wisdom Buffs

Flaring Intellect*
Soul: Mage/Pyromancer
Raid buff: 40 intellect
Duration: 1 hour
Fanfare of Knowledge
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: Stage Presence
Raid buff: 40 intelligence, wisdom (52 with talent)
Duration: 1 hour
Wisdom of the Era*
Soul: Cleric/Purifier
Raid buff: 40 wisdom
Duration: 1 hour
* - Stack with each other only.

Intelligence and Wisdom Buff Conclusions:
The Bard buff gives the effect of the Pyromancer and Purifier buffs together with more points, so no Cleric or Mage should be casting these buffs when there is a bard present.

Dexterity and Strength Buffs

Combat Preparation*
Soul: Rogue/Bladedancer
Raid buff: 40 dexterity
Duration: 1 hour
Fanfare of Power
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: Stage Presence
Raid buff: 40 strength/dexterity (52 with talent)
Duration: 1 hour
Focus of Body*
Soul: Warrior/Paragon
Raid buff: 40 strength
Duration: 1 hour
* - Stack with each other only.
Dexterity and Strength Buffs Conclusions:
As with intelligence and wisdom, the Bard buff should be preferred, and the Warrior/Paragon and Rogue/Bladedancer buffs cast only when there is no Bard present.

Magical Resistance Buffs

Arcane Aegis
Soul: Mage/Archon
Talent: Empowered Aegis
Self debuff: -30 magical resistance
Raid buff: 30 magical resistance (39 with talent)
Duration: 5 minutes
Anthem of Defiance*
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: Street Performer
Raid buff: 31 magical resistance (40 with talent)
Duration: Toggle on
Aspect of the Elements
Soul: Warrior/Warlord
Raid buff: 37 elemental resistance
Duration: Toggle on
Heart of the Twilight ForestHeart of the Frozen SeaHeart of the Fire Mountain**
Soul: Cleric/Shaman
Raid buff: 30 magical resistance (life/death, water/air, fire/earth respectively)
Duration: Toggle on
* - Does not stack with other Anthems
** - Do not stack with each other!

Magical Resistance Buffs Conclusions:
The best resists come from Bard's Anthem, but for the loss of only one point, the Archon can take this over. The Archon will not get the benefit of the buff, however, so on resist-heavy fights, go with Bard. Shaman isn't very powerful, but on resist-specific fights, they can do in a pinch. Warrior is weaker than Bard, but only by 3 points. If Bard needs to focus on something else in a resist fight where the Archon needs survival, consider going with the Warrior buff, here.

Armor Buffs

Anthem of Glory*
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: Street PerformerRaid buff: 505 armor (656 armor with talent)
Duration: Toggle on
Tempered Armor
Soul: Mage/Archon
Self debuff: -504 armor (+100 with the use of Ashen Defense)
Raid buff: 504 armor
Duration: 5 minutes
* - Does not stack with other Anthems

Armor Buffs Conclusions:
The Bard buff is superior, here, but because armor is one of the least beneficial buffs in most raiding encounters, it is often preferable to have the bard use another Anthem and let the Archon take this one over. In a fight where adds will attack random party members, however (e.g. Murdantix or Isskal), the Bard buff may become more critical.

SP/AP Buffs

Motif of Bravery
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: Resonance
Raid buff: 62 AP/SP (with talent, one of the three motifs required for 5% to attributes)
Duration: 15 seconds (30 seconds with Bardic Inspiration)
Electrify
Soul: Mage/Elementalist (Air Pet)
Raid buff: ?
Call to Battle
Soul: Warrior/Warlord
Self buff: 42 AP
Raid buff: 62 AP/SP
Duration: Toggle on
AP/SP Buffs Conclusions:
The Bard always needs to put up all three of their Motifs that contribute to Resonance (Bravery, Focus, Tenacity). The Warlord buff may or may not strip the Motif. If it does, it should not be used (testing needed)

Cost Reduction Buffs

Living Energy
Soul: Mage/Chloromancer
Raid buff: -10% ability cost
Duration: Toggle on
Anthem of Fervor*
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: Street PerformerRaid buff: -10% ability cost (-13% with talent)
Duration: Toggle on
* - Does not stack with other Anthems.


Cost Reduction Buffs Conclusions:
The cost reduction from the Bard buff is larger, but after 1.7, much of the pain of managing energy cost for yellow-bar callings is gone. Unless you Clerics are having trouble keeping up with mana costs to the point that the 3% would matter, it's probably best to go with the Chloromancer, here, and let the Bard use another Anthem.

% Damage Done Buffs

Enraged Companion
Soul: Warrior/Beastmaster
Self buff: 20% pet damage done, pet-specific features
Raid buff: 7% damage done
Duration: Toggle on
Enraged Essence
Soul: Warrior/Reaver
Raid buff: 5% damage done
% Damage Done Buffs Conclusions:
The Beastmaster buff is better, but Beastmasters are rare in raids these days. Use whichever is available, with a preference to Beastmaster.

Critical Hit Chance Buff

Motif of Focus
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: ResonanceRaid buff: 5% critical hit (with talent, one of the three motifs required for 5% to attributes)
Duration: 15 seconds (30 seconds with Bardic Inspiration)
Dauntless Strike
Soul: Rogue/Bladedancer
Raid buff: 5% critical hit
Duration: 20 seconds - 1 minute, based on combo points
Critical Hit Chance Buff Conclusions:
The two buffs are identical, but because the Bard buff is required for Resonance, there's no point in using the Bladedancer buff.

Damage Taken Reduced Buffs

Motif of Tenacity
Soul: Rogue/Bard
Talent: ResonanceRaid buff: 5% damage reduction (with talent, one of the three motifs required for 5% to attributes)
Duration: 15 seconds (30 seconds with Bardic Inspiration)
Call to Entrench
Soul: Warrior/Warlord
Talent: Dramatic PresenceSelf buff: 3% damage reduction (9% with talent)
Raid buff: 5% damage reduction
Duration: 6 - 18 seconds based on attack points
Damage Taken Reduced Buffs:
The raid needs Resonance from the Bard, but the tank needs the self-buff from Call to Entrench, so the right solution is for the Warlord buff to be cast in addition to the Bard buff. The Bard buff will remain up, and the raid buff portion of Call to Entrench will not overwrite it. However, the Warrior will get their self-buff effect.

Cooldown Damage Boost

Flaring Power
Soul: Mage/Archon
Raid buff: 15% SP and AP
Duration: 20 seconds (consumes/requires charge)
Cooldown: 2 minutes (but puts a 5 minute debuff on the raid)
Assault Command
Soul: Warrior/Warlord
Raid buff: 15% SP and AP
Duration: 20 seconds
Cooldown: 2 minutes (but puts a 5 minute debuff on the raid)
Cooldown Damage Boost Conclusions:
This is one of the most important buffs in any raid, and especially in 20-man raids. It increases the raid output dramatically, and can be coordinated with self-buffs that increase damage output even more! The Warlord buff should always be preferred, since the Archon buff requires charge, and therefore is not only limited as to when it can be cast, but also conflicts with the use of Power Drain. However, the Archon version is perfectly serviceable if no one has gone far enough into Warlord.

Increased Damage Auras

Natural Dedication
Soul: Cleric/Druid
Raid buff: 5% damage
Duration: 30 seconds
Cooldown 2 mintues
Volcanic Bomb
Soul: Mage/Archon
Raid buff: 5% damage
Duration: 10 seconds
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Increased Damage Auras Conclusions:
The standard Archon spam attack macro has Volcanic Bomb in it, but since the uptime on that buff is only 66%, you can actually get a pretty large increase in raid dps if you coordinate between your Archon and a Druid to stop using Volcanic Bomb while Natural Dedication is up. This makes the Archon rotation more complex since they can't use a spam macro (or have to use a modifier key during Natural Dedication). The upside, however, is 100% uptime for 30 seconds, after which the Archon takes back over for the remaining 1.5 minutes of the cooldown on Natural Dedication. The problem with this is, almost no one uses 26 points in Druid for raiding, these days...

Completely Unique Spells

These stack with everything.
Rallying Command – Warlord
Aid Command – Warlord
Burning Purpose – Archon
Earthen Barrage – Archon
Motif of Grandeur – Bard



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