1. #1
    Mechagnome Kildragon's Avatar
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    [General] Specs and their lvl 75 talent choice

    Hey all, so I don't play a Mage myself but this question has been bugging me for a while. In PvE, why do Fire Mages almost always take Living Bomb, Frost Mages take Frost Bomb, and Arcane Mages take Nether Tempest? Now there are obviously exceptions, but I really do see the majority of Mages simply take the Bomb that matches up with their spec.

    Now, since they removed Fire, Frost and Arcane specific damage bonuses, there is no difference in the amount of damage a Nether Tempest does for a Fire Mage, a Frost Mage and an Arcane Mage. The same goes for the other bombs. There is simply nothing that would make any of these bombs better for any of the specs, in regards to PvE at least. Frost Bomb works well with Frost Mages in PvP because of its synergy with blowing up on a target sitting in a Deep. That synergy doesn't exist in PvE though since bosses can't be frozen. (Yes I checked logs for single target fights such as Wind Lord and Imperial Vizier).

    Why do most Fire Mages take Living Bomb? It doesn't do anything for their spec; it doesn't contribute to Combustion and even though Inferno Blast still spreads it, IB also benefits Nether Tempest and Frost Bomb.

    Why do most Arcane Mages take Nether Tempest? It doesn't interact with Arcane Charges or anything else in the spec.

    Why do most Frost Mages take Frost Bomb? It doesn't give FoF charges, and all three Bombs can trigger Brain Freeze. Bosses can't be frozen so the Deep Freeze + Frost Bomb interaction doesn't work and it's not like the periodic damage from Nether Tempest and Living Bomb can break any freezes in PvE.

    So can someone please explain to me why not all Mages, regardless of spec, take the lvl 75 talent that does the most damage for single target/AoE/cleave?

    The same question also goes for the lvl 15 talents. People always say that Arcane and Frost mobility sucks compared to Fire, but Scorch is available for all three spec. Why don't Frost and Arcane Mages take Scorch?

  2. #2
    Usually Mage bombs are chosen with respect to their utility on any particular encounter.

  3. #3
    Dreadlord nimryas's Avatar
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    ^what he said. It depends whether or not you got multiple bosses/adds that you have to dps down really. I really like to be able to have LB so i can spread them with fire blast.

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  4. #4
    Mechagnome Kildragon's Avatar
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    What utility? They all have single target and cleave/aoe damage. If they were chosen for that reason you'd see every mage taking the same talent for aoe fights and the same talent for single target. Not happening though, fire mages tend to take living bomb no matter the fight. Frost mages never take living bomb though. Why?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kildragon View Post
    What utility? They all have single target and cleave/aoe damage. If they were chosen for that reason you'd see every mage taking the same talent for aoe fights and the same talent for single target. Not happening though, fire mages tend to take living bomb no matter the fight. Frost mages never take living bomb though. Why?
    Because they're not very good at their class.
    They don't have the same single target and AOE damage and are each useful for different situations.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kildragon View Post
    What utility? They all have single target and cleave/aoe damage. If they were chosen for that reason you'd see every mage taking the same talent for aoe fights and the same talent for single target. Not happening though, fire mages tend to take living bomb no matter the fight. Frost mages never take living bomb though. Why?
    No idea abt the frost, but for fire there were just too many benefits to not take living bomb, and it just happened to give out most dps cause we went for the 12.5% haste cap, and futhermore it could be cleaved to 2 additional targets, making your original target take full dot and 3 explosions(might not hit the original target though cause 3 target limit) from living bomb. Hence in a 3 target fight that 1 LB turns to 9 times explosion damage and 1-3x dot damage and only thing to do it you needed a glyph and your inferno blast did the rest

  7. #7
    Mechagnome Kildragon's Avatar
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    Now that I've looked at the actual numbers, this is making even less sense to me. Frost Mages apparently take whatever they want on single target fights, while almost all Fire Mages take Living Bomb and almost all Arcane Mages take Nether Tempest.

    For AoE, almost all Frost Mages seem to be taking Frost Bomb and Frost Bomb doesn't get any benefit from being used by Frost, so this would suggest that Frost Bomb is quite simply amazing for that fight. Every single top Fire Mage took Living Bomb though, and Arcane Mages are divided between Living Bomb and Nether Tempest.

    Now, I was under the impression that the bombs are equally good for each spec, it just depends on the encounter. Thinking about this logically, if Living Bomb is simply that amazing for AoE then all Mages would be taking Living Bomb on a fight like Wind Lord. As I just stated though, that is not the case, even with top Mages. Looking at the total breakdown of the 30 top Mages, 50% took Living Bomb, 30% took Frost Bomb, and 20% took Nether Tempest.

    For single target, 36% took Living Bomb, 60% took Nether Tempest and only 4% (1 out of the 30 top Mages) took Frost Bomb. It would seem that Nether Tempest is superior to the other two talents for single target, yet not every Mage is taking it. The even stranger thing is that most of the Mages taking Nether Tempest here are Arcane Mages, yet again, it doesn't benefit Arcane More than it does the others.

    So, is it that the different Bombs just work better with certain specs because of the way they themselves work? Well, Nether Tempest is an instant cast with a 12 second duration and Living Bomb is an instant cast with a 12 second duration. The only outlier here is Frost Bomb, since it's the only one out of the three with both a cast time and a CD, which could explain why most Mages would prefer to not take it. So why do most Fire Mages take LB? Can the explosion proc Hot Streak? If yes, then it would seem like Frost Bomb would be better since you get more detonations which = more chances at Hot Streak procs.

    For AoE, I also don't understand why you would take LB over Nether Tempest. Nether Tempest has no target limit and does cleave damage, plus you can cause it to instantly detonate on all targets with the glyph. Is it because you only need to spend one GCD on LB so you can continue single targeting for Hot Streak Procs? If that's the case, then why not use Frost Bomb. FB did more damage for the top Frost Mage on Windlord than LB did for the top Fire Mage on that fight.

    Single Target; Blade Lord

    Top ten Fire Mages:
    7 Living Bomb
    3 Nether Tempest

    Top ten Frost Mages:
    3 Living Bomb
    6 Nether Tempest
    1 Frost Bomb

    Top ten Arcane Mages:
    1 Living Bomb
    9 Nether Tempest


    AoE; Wind Lord

    Top ten Fire Mages:
    10 Living Bomb

    Top ten Frost Mages:
    8 Frost Bomb
    1 Living Bomb
    1 Nether Tempest

    Top ten Arcane Mages
    4 Living Bomb
    5 Nether Tempest
    1 Frost Bomb
    Last edited by Kildragon; 2012-12-05 at 03:14 AM.

  8. #8
    Frost Bomb is undeniably better than Living Bomb on Ta'Yak heroic and debateably better on Normal, because it has a much higher DPS output.
    Some people just don't like using it because it has a cast time and feels weird.

    Frost and Arcane Mages that only have Light of the Cosmos and Relic of Yu'Lon however will not be able to use Frost Bomb because it will not proc Light of the Cosmos, so will use Living Bomb until they get an Essence of Terror.

    Using Nether Tempest on Ta'Yak is just insanity.
    You will spend so much time refreshing it that you will not be able to perform any other DPS spell, and without putting it on all targets it only ticks on two. The Fire Blast glyph does not add enough damage to make it worth using over the other two because you would not want to Fire Blast on cooldown anyway.

    On single target such as Blade Lord, Frost Bomb is theoretically the highest damage but in practice loses out to the other two because it is harder to have 100% uptime. Living Bomb and Nether Tempest are roughly equal and it just depends which you think looks prettier and is easier to refresh. Living Bomb has a 3 second grace period, but if you recast it before then it won't explode and you lose 50% of the damage. Nether Tempest has a 1-2 seconds grace period but you lose only a couple of ticks refreshing it early.


    No Mage Bomb can proc Hot Streak. It will only proc Arcane Missiles on Application. How it procs Brain Freeze varies by bomb but they are of roughly equal worth and do not increase in value with multiple targets.
    Last edited by Imnick; 2012-12-05 at 03:50 AM.

  9. #9
    Bloodsail Admiral Nathyiel's Avatar
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    On a personal view, I switch between Frost Bomb and Living Bomb depending of the fight. I take LV for heavy movement and cleave. I use FB on Single target, AOE and snare. My default is Frost bomb because the cast time feel better in Frost with it's many instant cast spell.

    On a mathematical view, Frost Bomb is a little ahead in single target since it's last to buff (in September). But the hole between the perfect rotation (at the milliseconds) and the human reaction (near 1s between CD's end and cast time start) make it even on single target with the other 2.
    On an In-Game view, Living Bomb is more easy to use with it's ~3s refresh window and it's 1s GCD.
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  10. #10
    Moderator Shangalar's Avatar
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    I play Arcane and I use Nether Tempest because I love its visual effect. I would also take it on any fight with up to 3 mobs. I would never take Living bomb for several reasons: a) I don't like multidotting with LB, b) it's too punishing to refresh LB too early, while there are no penalties with NT and I sometimes do it on purpose, c) I don't like using Fire Blast as Arcane but this one is just a minor complaint.

    I'd use Frost Bomb on heavy AoE fights, but the problem is that you have a 40% chance to proc Missiles from it once, while with NT you get that opportunity on every application.

  11. #11
    I'm not sure how many people are aware, but one possible reason for Living Bomb being so popular for Fire on cleave fights is that it is the only bomb that works with the Fire Blast glyph.

    If Pyromaniac or Ignite are on your target (read: 99.9% of the time) Inferno Blast doesn't trigger the glyph effect on the other bombs.

  12. #12
    Dreadlord Cycobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    Frost Bomb is undeniably better than Living Bomb on Ta'Yak heroic and debateably better on Normal, because it has a much higher DPS output.
    Some people just don't like using it because it has a cast time and feels weird.

    Frost and Arcane Mages that only have Light of the Cosmos and Relic of Yu'Lon however will not be able to use Frost Bomb because it will not proc Light of the Cosmos, so will use Living Bomb until they get an Essence of Terror.

    Using Nether Tempest on Ta'Yak is just insanity.
    You will spend so much time refreshing it that you will not be able to perform any other DPS spell, and without putting it on all targets it only ticks on two. The Fire Blast glyph does not add enough damage to make it worth using over the other two because you would not want to Fire Blast on cooldown anyway.

    On single target such as Blade Lord, Frost Bomb is theoretically the highest damage but in practice loses out to the other two because it is harder to have 100% uptime. Living Bomb and Nether Tempest are roughly equal and it just depends which you think looks prettier and is easier to refresh. Living Bomb has a 3 second grace period, but if you recast it before then it won't explode and you lose 50% of the damage. Nether Tempest has a 1-2 seconds grace period but you lose only a couple of ticks refreshing it early.


    No Mage Bomb can proc Hot Streak. It will only proc Arcane Missiles on Application. How it procs Brain Freeze varies by bomb but they are of roughly equal worth and do not increase in value with multiple targets.
    Will just point out that Ta'yak is the single target fight in HoF, Mel'jarak is the AoE ^^.

    Otherwise this is mostly correct. Living Bomb and Fire blast spread on Mel'jarak is fine though, the explosions do a decent amount of damage.

  13. #13
    Ah yes, you're right.
    All these two syllable bug names are hard to keep right, I should have just said wind lord :P

  14. #14
    Titan Didactic's Avatar
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    I would hazard most non-hardcore players take whichever bomb fits their specialization choice. Which I totally understand; why should I be forced to cast Fire/Frost spells as part of my rotation if I am Arcane?
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