Fashionable Eyewear Selection Guide

Tonight, while restocking the bank, I noticed that one of the Lillis had placed a pair of  Spellpower Goggles Xtreme in the first tab.”Oh nice,” I exclaimed, because not only are they fashionable, they have +18 Intellect, which is pretty darn good at level 24.

“Are they better than the Gnomish Goggles, though?” came the question. It’s a good question, and the answer is a resounding: it depends.

The Gnomish Goggles are best in slot for the three classes Lilli plays in this PvP bracket because they provide Stamina, Spirit, and Intellect. The Stamina is key for PvP; none of the other helms available in this range come close. For general-purpose PvP for the three cloth classes, these are excellent choices.

But one of the fun parts of twinking is learning how to evaluate small differences in gear and evaluate them for your class, for the task you want to perform, and for your playstyle.

I put together a simple wowhead search for headpieces available for level 24 priests. To do this, I just set the filters to:

  • Max Level: 24
  • Filter: Available to Players (Yes)
  • Stat Weighting, Preset: Priest, Discipline
(You can change the filters to match your class as needed.)

This then pulls up a filtered list. Some of the results still make no sense – level 55 helms just aren’t available – but most of them do. The key to reading the results is to look for item entries with white text underneath them – this will tell you how the item is gotten in game, be it profession, zone drop, quest reward, whatever.

There are three helms I’d focus on:

Each one of these can be excellent in very specific instances.

The Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator is fantastic for PvE priests. Healing priests will love this because of the high Int/Spi combo, and the lack of Stamina shouldn’t matter because there should be a tank around. While the Lightning Discharge is an awesome surprise attack for PvP, the CD is such that you’d want to equip it early on, surprise the enemy, then switch to something with more Stamina.

The Spellpower Goggles Xtreme are the perfect Glass Cannon goggles, awesome for Lillis who don’t care if they live or die. Mages especially would like this one, with Warlocks and Priests also finding them very useful for putting out raw damage. If you’re focused on DPS in PvE, or in PvP for burst, these are great. Their lack of any Stamina is a drawback in PvP, though.

The Gnomish Goggles are great PvP goggles. Even though they have Spirit, they’re great for Mages and Warlocks because of their high Stamina. The Intellect is good enough, and the Spirit is good for Priests, but it’s the Stamina that sets these apart and is why they are part of the dress code.

It’s perfectly okay to get all of these, and switch between them as the situation demands. Twinks commonly switch out pieces using the in-game Equipment Manager and /equipset macros or dragging the equipment sets to their action bars; this allows them to optimize their gear on the fly.

So, while there’s a best in slot for PvP, it’s also nice to look around and see what other gear is available. Different situations call for different eyewear, after all!

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Warsong Gulch Familiarization Videos

I realized that I have several videos already shot in Warsong Gulch which may be helpful if you have never tried PvP.

Here’s my Children’s Week guide. I’d start with this one, I narrate it.

While it’s discussing the School of Hard Knocks, it’s a good tour of the BG.

And finally, raw videos from my Shaman blog. Good for watching the games, but no commentary.

Priest Primer: Macros & Useful Information

These are the macros that we’ll suggest for the level 24 Gnome Clone Priest. There are four sections here, one for each of the three talent specs and the fourth to cover Priests in general.

If you’re interested only in looking at the macros for your spec, you can click on one of the following links to jump to that section:

General Priest Macros
Discipline Priest
Holy Priest
Shadow Priest

Priests are a pretty straight forward class. You know they mostly heal but they do have some damage capabilities. They are the only class in the game with multiple healing specs, one of which prefers to prevent damage from happening in the first place while the other focuses more on direct heals. Their DPS spec, Shadow, is known for its highly annoying crowd control as well as a fair combination of DoT damage and direct damage.

The most common misplay I see from Priests in lower brackets is incorrect spell use, primarily the application of Shadow Word: Pain. SW:Pain is one of the most mana-intensive spells that Priests ever have access to, and unless you’re Shadow the damage on it really isn’t all that impressive. That doesn’t mean that Disc/Holy shouldn’t use it, but that does mean they shouldn’t just slap it on every opponent they see. For non-Shadow Priests SW:Pain has two primary uses: keeping Rogues/Ferals out of stealth, and preventing flag captures in Arathi Basin. If you’re not in one of those two situations then the only time you should cast SW:Pain is when you’re in the process of bringing down an EFC and/or his healers. Otherwise you’re just wasting mana because in this bracket someone who’s not actively engaged in combat has enough natural regeneration to counter SW:Pain’s damage coming from Disc and especially Holy.

That being said, don’t forget that regardless of your spec, in this bracket you have free access to every spell in your spellbook. Shadow doesn’t have to worry about casting heals or holy spells because they don’t have Shadowform yet. Disc and Holy might not get bonus damage to Shadow spells, but Mind Blast still does fantastic damage for non-Shadow Priests and it has a short cast time. All specs can bubble and heal, and they all have access to the five-target AoE fear, Psychic Scream. The point here is that you should never limit your spell selection when there’s no reason to. Use the tools that you’re given.

For general Priest macros, the only thing I really have to add is a set of focus macros that I use for healing. As I’ve mentioned before, I use HealBot as my actual healing addon, but when I’m not in a group healing environment the only people I care about healing are myself and my flag carrier. For that I like to use the following style of macro to make it easy for me to heal myself or the flag carrier at any time.

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt,@Psynister] Flash Heal
/cast [@focus] Flash Heal
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt,@Psynister] Heal
/cast [@focus] Heal
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt,@Psynister] Renew
/cast [@focus] Renew
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

These macros are a little bit different than the ones I’ve shown you before, so let me explain how they work.

/cast [mod:alt,@Psynister] Flash Heal This like casts the Flash Heal spell, but only if certain conditions are met because it’s modified. The modification, or “mod” that I’m using, is that I only want it to do this if I’m holding the ALT key down when I activate the macro. I’m also forcing it onto a specific person with the “@Psynister” portion of it, so no matter who I have selected as my target or if I have no target at all, activating this macro will cast Flash Heal on a character named Psynister when I’m holding the Alt key (assuming the character is in range and within line of sight). To modify these macros, you’ll want to replace Psynister with the name of your own character (Lilliloki or Lillivanilli in my case).

/cast [@focus] Flash Heal works similar to the line above except that there’s no modifier key applied to it. So any time I activate this macro without the Alt key pressed, it casts Flash Heal. This portion has it forced to cast on my focus though, using @Focus.

Now, Flash Heal does trigger the global cooldown (GCD) like most other spells. This means that I can’t cast Flash Heal twice at the same time with only a single activation of the macro. So when it’s activated the macro does the first thing that it’s capable of doing based on the modifiers that we’ve given it. First it looks to see if Alt is pressed, and if so it attempts to cast the heal on Psynister (which is me). If Alt isn’t being pressed then it does the next thing on the list which is casting Flash Heal on the person I have set as my focus (which is either my flag carrier or myself). If neither of those conditions are met, then it moves on to the next line of code which in this case there isn’t one.

You could modify this macro to cast Flash Heal on whoever your target is if it fails to cast both on yourself and on your focus, but I use this style of macro specifically to heal either one or the other of my primary targets, so if I can’t heal either myself or my focus I know something’s wrong and I don’t want to accidentally heal the wrong person in those situations so I don’t put any additional functionality into them.

Beyond that, I don’t have any other recommendations for general Priest macros beyond those that I already covered in the Macro Primer.

Suggested Discipline Specs:
222/0002 throughput focus
203/2100 mana focus
230/0030 survival focus

The first spec I have listed here is the one that I suggest for our Disc Priests. This spec strengthens your bubbles, reduces their cooldown so that you can “spam” them onto multiple people faster/easier, and reduces their mana cost as well. You lose a little bit of strength (2%) in your damage/healing by only putting 2 points into Twin Disciplines, and you’re saving 7% mana instead of 10% with only 2 points in Mental Agility, but you’re able to combine the strengths of both talents which should pay off more in the end. When I’m building solo twinks I tend to ignore Mental Agility all together since I’m only interested in healing myself and my flag carrier most of the time, but since we’re going to be using premade gnome groups it’s better to think long term and more group focused.

The second spec is all about conserving mana without loosing too much of your healing power. You lose 6% of your damage and healing power in exchange for 12% mana savings your instant cast spells (Power Word: Shield, Renew, Shadow Word: Pain, and your buffs), and it backs up those mana savings with Archangel as well. If you decide to use this spec, be sure to use your Penance whenever you have a chance, don’t conserve it if there’s not an immediate threat you need to save it for. Evang/Arch work best when you’re actually using the spells that trigger them, so be sure to make use of them.

The last spec focuses on healing, with an extra focus on keeping yourself alive by trading Evang/Arch for Inner Sanctum to reduce the spell damage you take by 6%. This doesn’t help you at all versus melee opponents, but it will help you survive against the casters. Alternatively, you could drop a point or two from Inner Sanctum and put them into Soul Warding to be able to spam your bubbles on other members faster.

I don’t have any Disc-specific macros for you beyond what was covered in the Macro Primer, so you should be good to go once you’ve decided on your spec.

In terms of game play, Disc has better damage capabilities than Holy because they have talents that increase their spell damage, so keep that in mind. If you’re using Evangelism and Archangel you also want to be sure you’re using Penance as often as you can. If you aren’t aware of any immediate threats to targets you’re healing and you don’t have any reason to suspect a stealthed attack, then use Penance offensively every chance you get so that you’re taking full advantage of those talents.

One other important note in regards to Penance. Channeled spells like Penance are not effected by Line of Sight so long as LoS was established at the time it was cast. If you want to cast Penance, whether offensively or as a heal, and your target is about break LoS by going behind a wall or something, try to fire off Penance before they actually leave LoS. Doing this will allow your Penance to continue casting even if LoS is completely broken. I’ve killed hundreds of people in WSG flag rooms using channeled spells that they thought they could hide from only to find I could still shoot them through the walls.

Suggested Holy Specs:
230/120 throughput focus
033/020 heal spammer
230/021 flag defender

Holy’s signature spell is Holy Word: Chastise which in this bracket is simply an instant cast spell that does decent damage and has a short Disorient effect. Disorient is basically a stun, and I believe it shares diminishing returns with stuns as well. The two primary uses of this spell are interrupting casters and stopping your opponents from either chasing you or getting away from you. As far as macros are concerned, just use the default attack macro format that I listed in the Macro Primer.

The first spec in that list is my favorite spec for a twink Priest. It focuses on big heals, and lots of them. The first tier adds 10% healing to Renew which is especially good against the F2P twinks that don’t know how to gear their toons as it will often heal for more damage than they can possibly deal. We also get 15% stronger Flash Heal and Heal casts from the first tier, giving us the single strongest healing spell in the bracket of all classes. The second tier gives us a free, instant 30% heal for ourselves which is fantastic since we’re typically focus fired as healers and as twinks we tend to have a lot of hit points. We also get one of the most useful healing talents of any healer in the 24 bracket, which gives us a 6% chance any time we Smite, Heal, or Flash Heal to get a free, instant cast Flash Heal.

The second spec focuses more on being able to spam heals for combating constant damage. You give up the 10% bonus to Renew in exchange for 0.5 seconds shaved off of the cast time of Heal (Smite and Holy Fire too for your DPS situations), and though we do lose the 30% instant-self heal talent the more frequent casting of Heal should theoretically provide more procs from Surge of Light which is what gives us the free, instant Flash Heals. Basically, you’re trading a little bit of personal survivability for better group healing overall, and potentially better healing of flag carriers if you don’t have people focusing on you instead of them.

The third spec is almost identical to the first, except that you’re trading your 30% self heal for a 5% damage reduction on any target that you get a critical heal on. For 15 seconds after your heals crit on the target (Heal and Flash Heal) they get 5% damage reduction against physical attacks. It doesn’t help you at all against casters, but the biggest damage dealers in this bracket deal primarily physical damage.

Holy has the strongest heals available in the 24 bracket, partly because they get such large bonuses to their healing spells from their talent tree and also because they can get free Flash Heal casts from their other healing spells. When you combine their strong heals with their AoE Fear and Holy Word: Chastise you can see how they have advantages to their healing that other healers do not. Of the three Priest specs you have the lowest damage potential which counters your higher healing potential. That doesn’t mean you can’t use your offensive spells, it just means you don’t hit as hard with them as the other two specs will. Don’t be afraid to be offensive, just remember your strengths and keep them in mind. You might not be able to one-shot a Mage, but chances are high you can add enough healing to the mix that you can kill him before he can kill you, even if it does take 3 minutes to do it.

Suggested Shadow Specs:
320/0102 damage focus
320/0300 burst focus
320/2001 control focus

The first Shadow spec here focuses on damage. In this bracket Fade only serves to get enemy Pets off of you if you’ve built no threat against them yet, but even that doesn’t work very well, so every Shadow Priest should have the same tier 1 talents which give 3% Haste and 6% damage to SW:Pain. The second tier is where your damage focus comes in with 2% increased Shadow damage, 100% Spirit conversion to Hit Rating, and 0.5 seconds shaved off of Mind Blast’s cooldown.

The second spec trades the Hit and 2% Shadow damage of Twisted Faith to max Improved Mind Blast for -2 seconds from Mind Blast’s cooldown. Mind Blast is your fastest cast and your hardest hitting spell, so you’re doing everything you can to cast it more frequently.

The third spec focuses more on control, which is this cast is reducing the cooldown on your Psychic Scream by 4 seconds. Those 4 seconds might not seem like that big of a deal, but it’s one of the strongest AoE crowd control spells in the game and it’s one of only four that exist in this bracket (Mages have all the rest). You also get 1% Shadow damage and 50% of your Spirit converts to Hit Rating. You can trade 1 point in Improved Psychic Scream for the second point in Twisted Faith for for 2% damage and 100% Spirit > Hit Rating if you’d like.

Shadow’s signature spell is Mind Flay which is a channeled spell that deals damage every second for three seconds and slows the target’s movement speed by 50%. I do have one quick macro I’d like to mention for this one:

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt] Mind Flay
/cast !Mind Flay
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

The first thing I want to point out about this macro is that it makes use of the exclamation mark (!). I’ve talked about this in the other primers here, but I’ll explain it again just in case you haven’t read them. Using this mark in front of a spell allows you to spam the macro without cancelling or recasting the spell that you put it in front of. Without that mark if you were to press this macro and then one second later press it again, you would cast Mind Flay on the target twice while dealing damage with it only once which essentially wastes the first cast.

In the case of Mind Flay, sometimes you want to be able to cast it a second time before its effect is actually finished, especially in cases where you’re trying to slow as many people as possible in order to give your flag carrier time to capture the flag. In cases like that you can take advantage of the other special line in this macro: /cast [mod:alt] Mind Flay. Since this line comes before the one with the exclamation mark, if you’re holding Alt when you activate the macro it will override and ignore the second line, allowing you to do rapid casts on one target after the other. Just be aware that the slowing effect only happens while you’re channeling it, so don’t be too quick to jump from one target to another or you may accomplish little more than wasting your mana.

While Shadow is the DPS spec for Priests, PvP victories often come down to who had the most effective use of crowd control and who had the most effective healers. As Shadow you have all of those tools available to you, so don’t get tunnel visioned into killing people when you have so much more to offer. A Flash Heal, Mind Flay, or Psychic Scream at the right time can be the difference between GG and QQ.

Mage Primer: Macros & Useful Information

General Mage
Arcane Mage
Fire Mage
Frost Mage


General Mage Macros and Information
Mages are full of little tricks that your average player isn’t aware of, particularly if they’re familiar with mostly PvE gameplay rather than PvP.

The most common example of an overlooked spell feature for Mages is Blink. This spell teleports you up to 20 yards forward, assuming that there’s a path for you to teleport along. That part everyone knows and understands. The part that they miss, is that Blink also removes any stun effect and any root/snare effect that you’re currently under. So if a Warrior hits you with Charge or a Paladin hits you with a Hammer of Justice or a Druid snares you with Entangling Roots, you can use Blink to not only break their stun and root effect(s), but also still get the 20 yard teleport.

Mages are also known for their various forms of crowd control. Mages can sheep you, freeze you, slow you, stun you, or they can even dead you. That’s right, they can dead you. In the face, even. Some of these are pretty self explanatory, and some have little tricks you might not be aware of.

First up is Polymorph, often referred to “poly” or “sheeping”. This spell turns your target into a harmless sheep for its duration. If you’re used to using this in PvE you probably already know how this works and that any damage dealt to the target will break your sheep effect. What you might not be quite so familiar with is that the target regenerates health and mana LIKE CRAZY while they’re a sheep. Sheeping someone is good because it removes them from participating in combat, but be aware that you’re basically giving them free heals when you do it. Sometimes the best option you have is to sheep someone that’s low on health, and that’s fine. You just need to be aware of that regeneration. Also, you can only sheep one target at a time, though sometimes the slowing effect of sheeping people one right after the other is enough to capture a flag.

The Freeze effects that we have access to at this level simply stop movement, they do nothing to prevent the opponent from attacking or casting spells. However, one thing to note is that with the Gnome Clones being Alliance, that means our opponents are Horde and the only option Horde has to remove a Freeze effect is to pop their PvP trinket which has a 5 minute cooldown, or to wait out the 8/4/2 seconds for the effect to wear off. Your team can break them out early by dealing damage to them, and it will happen all the time, but the point is that there’s very little that they can do to stop it or get out of it (Resto Druids being the exception as they can shift to break roots/snares).

People often overlook the usefulness of Slows for some reason, and I couldn’t really tell you why. Your primary slow is Frostbolt, which all Mages have access to (at least until MoP is released). If you’re not a Frost Mage then Cone of Cold is also a Slow effect, where Frost has the option of spending talent points to change it into a Freeze. I’m sure you’re all aware of what a Slow effect is, but what you might not know is just how much difference you can make by spamming Frostbolt casts across the entire enemy team can be. I lost count of how many flags we’ve captured solely because of well timed slow effects. Don’t ignore the usefulness of Frostbolt simply because you’re not a Frost Mage.

#showtooltip
/stopcasting
/cast Counterspell
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast !Arcane Missiles
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

The first macro introduces something new which is the /stopcasting line. This line of code immediately cancels whatever you’re currently casting as though you had hit the escape key. It follows that by casting Counterspell. The significance of this macro is that often times your opponent will cast a spell in the middle of you casting your own spell, and you need to counter it but you can’t since you’re in the middle of your own cast. With this macro you can cast your interrupt regardless of whatever else you happen to be doing because it will cancel your action and force the counterspell through. You do need to realize that by using this macro you are potentially nerfing your own DPS or maybe some potentially vital CC spells if you constantly have to cancel your casts in order to counter a spell, but that’s the price you pay for good PvP (and PvE). To put it into perspective, by cancelling a Flash Heal you’re basically doing anywhere from 600-1400 damage with Counterspell by preventing that heal from happening in the first place.

The second option introduces something new, /cast !Arcane Missiles, which is the exclamation mark (!) in front of the spell name. This is something you use on spells that are either channeled or that require you to select the target area of the spell. In the case of a spell that has a target area, like Frost’s pet’s Freeze spell (see the Frost Mage section below), activating a macro without this mark two times in a row basically cancels the action of casting it, so pressing once activates the spell waiting for you to select the target area, and pressing it twice cancels the cast because you didn’t actually select the area. When you do have this mark in front of the spell name no matter how many times you press this macro that target area icon isn’t going to go away until you either cancel the cast (escape key, right-clicking, or casting another spell) or you select the target area for the cast to take place.

In the case of channeled spells, like Arcane Missiles, the exclamation mark prevents recasting or cancelling the channeled cast. By having the mark there you can spam the macro and it will cast the spell once and fire it off as though you has only activated it one time, but without that mark activating it a second time will cancel the current spell mid-channel and attempt to cast it again. Without the mark in front, best case scenario is you lose mana by recasting early, worst case is you cancel your spell which wastes both the mana you used on it as well as the proc and its related damage.


Arcane Mage Macros and Information

Suggested Arcane Specs:
023/0012 movement focused
023/2100 burst focused
023/0120 damage focused

Arcane’s signature spell is Arcane Barrage, which is an instant cast nuke that’s…well, it’s freaking amazing is what it is. However, as just another attack spell it doesn’t warrant a special macro of its own beyond the typical default offensive macro that I introduced in the Macro Primer.

Arcane Mages are known for their high burst damage and their ability to deal damage while staying mobile, making them one of the deadliest kiters in the bracket. In this bracket, Arcane has the highest burst potential of all three Mage specs, and wrestle with Retribution Paladins for the second highest burst class in the entire bracket (behind hunters).

In the General Mage section up above you’ll find a Counterspell macro. This one is especially important to Arcane Mages because of the Improved Counterspell talent which silences the target for 4 seconds when you counterspell them. It’s especially important to be familiar with casting Counterspell with this talent because the silence is applied even if it doesn’t actually counter a spell, meaning you can silence opponents before they even get a chance to try casting. Of the four types of healers, Priests and Paladins are your primary targets for this. Of the offensive casters, Mages and Shamans are the top priority. Every other class that has an interrupt that prevents casting requires that they actually counter a spell with their interrupt.

If you’ve gone with a spec that uses the Invocation talent (bonus damage after interrupting spells) then you definitely want to consider using that Counterspell macro I have in the general section up above. Make frequent use of Counterspell, particularly to stop healers, but any caster will do. Druids, Shamans, and Paladins who aren’t even using healing specs are good targets for Counterspell too since they all cast spells even as their melee specs (Prot/Ret Paladins included).

A trap that a lot of Arcane Mages fall into these days is Arcane Missiles. The spell does good damage and you’ll have AM procs all the time as Arcane, but don’t feel like you have to stop and cast them, and when you do stop to cast don’t feel like you have to stand still for their entire cast time. Mobility and burst damage are the key to this spec at level 24 and AM contradicts that. If you don’t have any melee opponents trying to eat your face then by all means fire off those missiles every time they proc, but if you are being assaulted by melee you’re better off either not casting AM at all, or casting it only long enough to get whatever missiles you feel comfortable with before moving again. If you only get one or two sets of missiles out of an AM cast, then so be it. If all else fails, you’re a fantastic kiting machine and you can an run around the whole field with them chasing you while you cast Arcane Barrage and Fire Blast every time they come off of cooldown until they’re dead.


Fire Mage Macros and Information

Suggested Fire Specs:
032/1002 control focused
212/0021 mobility focused
032/3000 damage focused

Fire’s signature spell is Pyroblast, which has a very long cast time that unfortunately you can’t do anything about in this bracket, but as a typical DPS spell it doesn’t warrant any special macros of its own beyond the typical default offensive macro that I introduced in the Macro Primer.

Fire Mages are unique in that they have the option of bringing three new attributes to the class through their second tier talents. The first is Ignite which makes your Fire crits add a DoT effect that deals up to 40% of the total damage as additional DoT damage to the target. DoT’s are especially good on places like AB since their damage will keep opponents from capturing or recapturing flags. The second is Blazing Speed which gives you a 10% chance when hit by a melee/ranged attack to increase your speed by 100% for 8 seconds and dispel any movement impairing effects. Third is the Impact talent which gives your damaging spells a 10% chance to reset your Fire Blast cooldown and modifies Fire Blast to also stun the target for 2 seconds.

How beneficial each of these new abilities can be depends entirely on the situation you’re in at any given time and which battleground you find yourself in most often, making it hard to judge which talent build is actually the best.

Remember that just because you’re a Fire Mage doesn’t mean you should ignore your Arcane and Frost spells. Especially Frost’s crowd control spells like Frost Nova and even Frostbolt. Fireball has a long cast time, Pyroblast even longer, but a good way to make up the difference is to take advantage of Frostbolt’s faster cast time to slow your opponents before opening up with the Fire spells for higher damage. If your opponents are getting close to you, root them with Frost Nova, run away to get a little distance, Frostbolt to slow them, and then start casting your Fireballs.

It’s easy for Fire Mages to get tunnel vision and feel like they need to stand there and nuke the crap out of everything with a red bar over its head. While that can be a good thing, don’t get locked into doing only that or you might miss opportunities where your other spells could be more valuable. Remember, it doesn’t matter how much damage you deal or how many kills you get, it’s all about which team works together the best and which team has the most points at the end of the game. We’re clones, we work together or we don’t work at all.


Frost Mage Macros and Information

Suggested Frost Specs:
212/1110 control focused
222/0200 burst focused
032/2100 balanced control/burst

The signature spell of the Frost tree is Summon Water Elemental. While the summoning of this elemental pet itself doesn’t require a macro, Squirtle (as I like to call him) does have a very unique ability that is worthy of a macro.

#showtooltip
/cast Freeze
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/cast !Freeze
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/cast Frostbolt
/cast Freeze – OR – /cast !Freeze
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

The Water Elemental’s Freeze spell works exactly like Frost Nova does, except that it targets a specific area rather than being centered on the caster. Basically it’s a ranged version of Frost Nova that you can target wherever you need it. (Hint: Flag carriers and/or their healers as well as people chasing your flag carrier are prime targets for this.)

Each of these three macros is used to activate Squirtle’s Freeze ability in a different way. The first macro works like most of our other macros, we’re just casting Freeze and clearing error messages. This is the version of the macro that I personally use because I like to have complete control over when and if I decide to use the Freeze ability and I don’t like having accidents happen.

The second macro works exactly like the first, except that it allows for spamming if you happen to be a button mashing fiend, but otherwise it functions exactly like the version above it.

The third macro combines the pet’s Freeze spell with your own Frostbolt cast. Since the pet is a separate entity, his spell cast isn’t associated with your own as far as the global cooldown (GCD) is concerned, so you can cast both your spell and his/hers at the same time. Frost gets a lot of extra benefits (damage and crit chance) from casting spells on targets that are frozen, which is why Freeze is such a fantastic spell.

If you’re not familiar with what the exclamation mark (!) in front of the spell names does, refer to the General section near the top of this article.

Frost Mages have a lot of really great talent choices in their first two tiers. In fact, almost every one of them is worth taking and has at least some amount of usefulness in low level PvP. The weakest one of the bunch is Permafrost which heals your pet as you deal damage and also improves the strength of your slowing effects – but even that’s good for PvP.

Frost can be played basically three ways: heavy control, heavy burst, or a combination of the two. If you’re going to focus on burst damage, then you want to make ample use of your pet’s Freeze spell as well as your own freezing effects (Frost Nova and possible Cone of Cold if you spec for it). Freeze your opponents as much as possible and unless as many Frostbolts as you can while they’re unable to move. If you’re into control then you want to save your freezing and slowing effects for when you can really make them count. The balanced build follows the philosophy of “kill when you can, control when you can’t”.

Gnomish Engineering and You: A Guide to Getting Gnomish Goggles

Part of the Gnome Clone’s dress code is the Gnomish Goggles, a crafted item that can only be learned by Gnomish Engineers. This guide should help you get started on obtaining those goggles.

Your first objective will be to level your Engineering skill to at least level 200. There is a Gnome-centric Engineering guide that you can follow here. The only thing to keep in mind that will be different from the guide if you follow it, is that you will want to put mats towards making one of each new type of goggle as it becomes available.

The first goggles you can make are the Flying Tiger Goggles at 100 skill points in Engineering. You will need a pair of these to later create Green Tinted Goggles at 150 skill points. You will then turn the Green Tinted Goggles into Fire Goggles at 205 skill points.

Once you’ve hit 200 Engineering, you can head to one of three Gnomish Engineering Trainers to pick up the quest Show Your Work.

The most accessible trainer, Tinkmaster Overspark, is in Ironforge. However, in order to complete the quest, you will need an Accurate Scope, which is not trainable by a regular trainer but is only available from Mazk Snipeshot, who hangs out in Booty Bay, along with another Gnomish Engineering Trainer, Oglethorpe Obnoticus. So if you have to go down to Booty Bay to pick up the schematic, it’s also possible to also pick up and turn in Show Your Work there.

Accurate scopes (as well as the rest of the required objects) are not BoP, so it’s possible your guild bank might already have some, or that another Lilli is around to craft what you need.

Once you have turned in the quest, you are able to speak to any of the Gnomish Engineering Trainer to get those schematics only available to Gnomish Engineers.  Now the only thing that stands between you and your Gnomish Goggles is getting to 215 skill points in Engineering and training the schematic from one of the Gnomish Engineering Trainers.

Lookin' hawt

So, to recap:

  • Step 1. Level Engineering to 200, being sure to make all possible goggles along the way
  • Step 2. Pick up Show Your Work
  • Step 3. Craft items needed for the quest to continue leveling Engineering, as you are able
  • Step 4. Turn in quest
  • Step 5. Level Engineering to 215 and learn Gnomish Goggles schematic from a Gnomish Engineering Trainer
  • Step 6. ???
  • Step 7. Profit

Macro Primer

Much like the Recommended PvP Addons that Cyn mentioned, I know a lot of people aren’t very familiar with macros. Not just PvP macros, but macro all together.

I’m going to give a few examples of macros and tell you how they work and when/where/why you would want to use a macro over the default methods of casting spells or using addons. As this is the primer I’m not going to go too in depth for specific classes or anything, this is more to get you familiar with them in general before we delve into the specific ones in other posts.

There is a lot more to macros that just what I’m covering here, but I wanted to give you some good starter macros as examples so that you can get comfortable using macros and be confident in knowing how they will work for you.

OFFENSIVE MACROS
All of my offensive macros are built off of the same template, because regardless of what the spell itself does the typical actions I want to perform with it remain the same. I use this (or a variation of it) for every single offensive spell that I have, on every character that I ever roll.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast SpellNameHere
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

When you create this marco you want to use the default icon which is just a red question mark on a black background. That icon changes to reflect whatever your macro itself actually does, which in this case will cause it to become the icon of whatever spell you have in the “/cast SpellNameHere” line.

#showtooltip causes the icon to show the tool tip information for whatever spell you have the macro casting as well, so when you mouse over it you get the spell’s information like a normal spell icon instead of just the name of the macro. This line is especially useful when you have complex macros that cast multiple spells, but we’ll get into that later.

/startattack works just like the auto-attack feature, and most melee attacks. If you do not have an enemy targeted, this line will cause you to target an enemy that’s in front of you (usually the one closest to you, but not necessarily) and activate your auto-attack against the target. If you do already have an enemy targeted, then it simply activates your auto-attack against them. The usefulness of this is two-fold. First, it’s essentially an auto-target feature built into your attack buttons so you don’t have to click or tab to select a target if you don’t already have one. Second, it turns on auto-attack which is basically free damage for clothies once an opponent closes in for melee. So many casters just keep spamming their spells when I close in with a melee character and they miss out on free attack damage because they do nothing to activate their auto-attack.

/cast SpellNameHere performs the actual spell cast. You do have to actually put the name of the spell there instead, of course. With no modifiers at all, this line has no additional functionality so it simply casts the spell on your target. (We’ll get into modifiers in the class-specific macro posts, later.)

/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear() removes that cluttered mess of error messages that pop up near the top of your screen when you’re trying to cast spells that are still on cooldown, or your target is out of range, etc. It clears all of the error text that shows up. You can also modify this portion of the macro to turn your sound off/on when using the macros so you don’t hear your character’s annoying remarks about not being able to cast a spell yet, but when you’re talking about PvP I feel that even a fraction of a second where your sound is turned off can be a bad thing, so I never turn off my sound via macros.

Here are some examples of how this simple macro is used.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast Smite
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast Frostbolt
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast Immolate
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Another type of offensive macro is one that uses a cast sequence. This macro is best used in relation to spells that have cooldowns, or spells that you know you want to cast in a particular order. I use this most often on classes that have DoT spells, or when I have useful offensive spells that have annoying cooldowns like Priests.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/castsequence reset=combat/6 FirstSpellName, SecondSpellName, EtcSpellNames
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/startattack
/castsequence reset=target/combat/6 FirstSpellName, SecondSpellName, EtcSpellNames
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Most of this macro is exactly the same as the ones above, except for the /cast line.

/castsequence tells the computer that you’re going to cast the first spell the first time you activate this macro, then the second spell the second time you press it, and so on. Note that you do have to press this macro for each spell, it’s not just going to cast them all at the same time (we’ll look at those macros in a minute). Basically you’ll be spamming this button to some degree to cast all of the spells you have in the sequence.

reset=combat/6/target this part tells the macro when you want it to reset the sequence early. If you don’t have a reset line in the cast sequence then it will simply rotate through the spells in order over and over, and wherever you happen to have left off is where it starts up again. reset=combat makes this macro start back over at the first spell any time you leave or enter combat. reset=target makes the macro start back at the first spell any time you change targets, which is good when you’re either stacking DoT’s or crowd control. reset=6 makes the macro reset to the first spell after six seconds of not using the macro.

The macro will reset to the first spell by default if you cast every spell you have listed in the castsequence. Note that this only includes spells cast from the macro itself. If your next spell on the list is Frostbolt and you cast that spell from your regular Frostbolt spell/macro instead of the castsequence macro, it does not trigger the castsequence to move to the next spell on the list because the macro itself wasn’t used to cast it.

You can use any combination of these reset features, and they are separated by the slashes when using multiples rather than just commas or semi-colons. Here are some examples of how to use this type of macro for each class.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/castsequence reset=10 Holy Fire, Shadow Word: Pain, Smite, Smite
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/startattack
/castsequence reset=target/6 Frostbolt, Fireball, Fire Blast
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/startattack
/castsequence reset=target/6 Corruption, Bane of Agony
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

These particular macros should be used when you’re going to follow that specific sequence of spell casts. I do not recommend that you use this macro as the sole method of casting the spells within the macro unless you’re comfortable with not having access to all of those spells at a given time.

You need to be able to stay fluid in what spells you can cast and when, so you don’t want to only have access to a castsequence, especially not when you’re currently in sequence 4 and the spell you need to cast is set as the third spell to cast.

In the first example I used reset=10 because that’s the cooldown on Holy Fire, so there’s no reason to ever reset earlier than 10 seconds because the first spell on the list would be on cooldown. In the second I used reset=target/6 because I want to start with a Frostbolt on every target since slowing opponents is a key feature in PvP, but I also want it to reset after six seconds just in cast the target stays out of range of my Fire Blast or I need to use that spell on another target so it’s on cooldown, this way I get back to Frostbolt without having to cast the other spells on the macro in case the situation doesn’t allow me to. In the last example, it’s a simple application of DoT’s from the Warlock which can be used while on the move and stacks both of our instant-DoT’s on the target.

The next type of macro we’re going to discuss are the ones I mentioned a moment ago that allow you to cast more than one spell at a time. In order to do this, the spells in question have to not trigger the global cooldown. At least, all but one of them does. I’ll come up with a list of all the spells that allow that when we got over macros for the individual classes, but for now I’m just going to show you some basic example of that so that you can get the general idea of how it works.

#showtooltip Mind Flay
/startattack
/cast Lifeblood
/cast Mind Flay
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

You’ll see a couple of differences in this macro compared to the others above.

#showtooltip Mind Flay when you’re using a macro like this, you want the primary spell in the macro to be the one that the tooltip displays. If you were to leave Mind Flay off of that first line like we’ve done with the other macros above, the icon and tooltip would both be for the Lifeblood spell instead of Mind Flay, where putting the name of the spell itself after the #showtooltip line forces those to be that of Mind Flay instead.

Lifeblood is the spell that you get for being an Herbalist, and it grants a bonus to Haste as well as a heal over time effect. The Haste is the real benefit of the spell though, and that’s why people like to tie it to spells when they want to benefit from it’s haste. Lifeblood also doesn’t trigger the global cooldown (GCD), so activating this macro only once casts both Lifeblood and Mind Flay at the same time.

If Lifeblood is on cooldown, this macro simply attempts to cast Lifeblood (and fails), and then casts Mind Flay regardless of whether or not Lifeblood was available. You can even do this with all of your attack spells if you’re just dying to take advantage of that haste every time it’s off of cooldown, just be aware that with this particular method Lifeblood will always be cast when using this macro so long as it’s not on cooldown.

DEFENSIVE MACROS
PvP combat can be pretty chaotic at times, and when you have more than just a couple of people involved in the fighting things can get out of hand pretty quick and it’s easy to lose sight of targets. Every healer has their own way of healing, whether it be through macros, addons, or some old school click-healing via party/raid frames. I am going to give you some healing macros here though, just to give you an idea of what functionality macros can have for healers beyond simply healing.

The first example I’m going to show you is a combination of focus macro and forced self-healing through the use of a modifier. This is getting a bit more complex, but I’m going to keep the example simple so that you can use it even if you don’t fully understand the concept of the macros.

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt,@YourCharacterNameHere] Flash Heal
/cast [@focus] Flash Heal
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip
/cast [mod:alt,@YourCharacterNameHere] Power Word: Shield
/cast [@focus] Power Word: Shield
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

/cast [mod:alt,@YourNameHere] Flash Heal is going to make this macro cast Flash Heal on you whenever you are holding the Alt key when you press/click this macro to activate it.

/cast [@focus] Flash Heal causes you to cast Flash Heal on your focus.

I typically use this type of macro when I’m either running the flag myself or when I’m escorting a flag runner. I use the HealBot addon for most of my healing in groups, but when it comes time to protect my flag carrier, I want to make absolutely sure that they’re getting the heals that they need and I can give myself the heals that I need, regardless of what I need to do with my mouse at the time.

#showtooltip
/cast Polymorph
/bg Sheeping %t!
/p Sheeping %t!
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


#showtooltip Fear
/cast [mod:alt] Lifeblood
/cast Fear
/bg Fearing %t!
/p Fearing %t!
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

These macros are used for crowd control and to announce that crowd control to your teammates. There are a couple of new lines here that I haven’t used in the other macros above, so here are the details on them.

/bg Sheeping %t! this announces to the battleground chat channel (/bg) that you are “Fearing” someone. The %t portion of this is a shortcut that Blizzard has in place to represent your target. You can use %t in any type of chat channel and it will replace %t with the name of your target. So if you had me selected as your target and you used the top macro it would cast Polymorph on me and then in the /bg chat channel it would say “Sheeping Psynister!”

/p Sheeping %t! works exactly the same way except that it’s making the announcement to the Party channel instead, making this macro useful both in battlegrounds and in LFG groups. You can replace /p and /bg with any other type of chat you want to use, just replace it with whatever the designation is for the channel: /2 is trade chat, /raid for places like Wintergrasp/Tol Barad, /5 for Twitter chat (or whatever number it is for you), and so on.

The second example that uses Fear instead of Polymorph does exactly the same function, but it combines the non-GCD Lifeblood spell to speed the Fear cast. I changed the #showtooltip line to always show me Fear rather than Lifeblood, and then added an Alt modifier to a Lifeblood cast. Whenever you use this macro it will cast Fear on your target and announce that to /bg and /p so that people are aware that you’re using crowd control (CC), hoping that they take that as a sign they should not break the CC. If you happen to be holding Alt when you activate the macro it will do all of that plus it will cast Lifeblood right before the Fear cast so that the extra haste from Lifeblood will make Fear cast faster. This way you can speed up your CC cast when you need to, but you’re not always burning Lifeblood during Fear when it’s not completely necessary.

COMBINING THE TWO
In some cases you want your macros to be able to be both offensive and defensive based on the situation. The most obvious case of that in our GnomeClone group is the Discipline Priest’s Penance spell which can be used either as a channeled offensive nuke, or as a heal. If you were to use Penance with that first macro I have listed at the top of this post, you’ll find that your Penance always casts offensively when there are enemies around you because of the “/startattack” line in the macro which auto-targets an enemy if it can.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast [mod:alt,@focus] Penance
/cast Penance
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

/cast [mod:alt,@focus] Penance will force your Penance cast to target the person you have set as your focus even though we have the /startattack line in the macro, and even if you have an enemy selected as your current target. So long as you have a focus set, it will cast it on that person so long as they are within range of the spell.

Because of the way that Penance works, you can use this macro with either an enemy or an ally set as your focus. If you like to focus the enemy flag carrier to watch their life bars, this is a good way to force casts on them when they’re within range and line of sight. Likewise, if you prefer to focus your primary healing target (your flag carrier) then you can use this to make sure you’re always able to heal them with Penance regardless of your current target.

Recommended PvP Addons

I know a lot of people don’t use PvP addons, but I do recommend two lightweight ones to help with your adventures in Warsong Gulch.

  • SaySapped – says “Sapped” when you are sapped by a rogue, alerting folks around you that you have been incapacitated. Very lightweight. You can modify the LUA to /y instead of /s.
  • Healers Have to Die – if you have nameplates on, HHTD will identify healers – friendly or enemy – so you know who to protect or focus. (There are two related posts on CBM.)
Another one that I recommend, that you’re likely already running, is DBM with the PvP module enabled (which is default.) DBM will display things like the current flag carrier and enemy flag carriers, timers on nodes in Arathi Basin, timers for flag respawns in WSG. It’s generally useful and should be left on. 🙂
While there are a lot of other PvP addons you could use, these are probably the two that make the biggest difference to one’s play.
(Other suggestions welcome in the comments!)