Friday, August 3, 2012

Rift Mage: Having fun with uitily

In Rift, I play in a guild called Ascended of Corthana on the Faeblight shard. We're a casual raiding guild that had some pretty severe numbers problems right around the time that Infernal Dawn came out. We've fixed that, and after we merged in another, similar guild we're now back on track and raiding ID while still clearing the last few bosses of HK for farm loot.

But our raiding Mage count is still very low, and as Mage class lead, I've had to bring the heavy utility to raids so that we don't end up with none. Obviously, I have to have a support (Archon) spec so that I can buff the raid if need be, but fights like every ID boss thus far in our progression along with HK bosses that I still farm from time to time like Prime and Prince require pretty specialized Mages for specific utility roles.

I've long had multiple specs to handle all of these, but now that utility is starting to become the primary thing that I bring to raids, I've been trying to consolidate. To that end, I now have two basic utility builds:

RotP General Silgen cleansing build: 33/26/7 Pyro/Chloro/Archon (there are dozens of variations on this theme for more healing, more dps, more mana, more survivability, etc.) which I tend to use for cleansing/heals/dps on trash as well.

And the super-utility, raid healer build for Prime, Prince tanking, every ID utility role so far, tower interrupts on Grug; Lasher interrupts on Akylios, etc.: 26/24/16 Chloro/Lock/Dom

Between these two builds, I find that I bring just about everything we need... I keep my 51 Chloro around for main tank heals and I have a full dps, single-target spec. With my Archon that I mentioned earlier, this comes to 5 specs, so I still have a slot left over for experimentation and PvP.

Of course, I'd like to have so many mages that I don't need to do this, but I guess we're just not the flavor of the month...

Using the super-utility build

The utility features that the my super-utility build brings in addition to raid healing are:

  • Wild Growth
  • Battle Rez
  • Single-target interrupt
  • AoE silence (useful for Maklamos)
  • Extra health, Reflective Command and Natural Conversion for Prince tanking
  • Instant-cast, extended duration CC
I generally use a dps/healing hybrid rotation on most fights:
  • "Priority" casting: Sacrifice Life: Damage > Ruin > Radiant Spores > Withering Vine > Life Leech > Dark Touch > Vile Spores 
  • If I'm at full charge and SL:D isn't up, I pop Entropic Veil.
  • Cast Flourish when the raid drops in health. 
  • Cast Bloom when someone needs a quick heal. 
  • Cast Thunder Blast as needed to interrupt. 
  • Rez as needed. 
  • CC as needed. 
  • Win. 
The only thing in there that might look odd is the high priority on Life Leech. I do this to increase the proc rate on SHoE, but it might not be strictly necessary.

In practice, I use Radiant Spores, Ruin and Vile Spores in my spam macro and refresh dots as they fall off. This leaves me with plenty of situational awareness for things like getting out of the bad stuff on the ground and calling out raid conditions for others.
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