Tag Archives: buffs

Icecrown Citadel Zone Buff

In come the nerfs. I mean buffs.

The optional zone buff in the Icecrown Citadel is now available and will make the instance easier for whoever wants to use it. The buff currently increases total health, healing done and damage dealt by 5% but higher versions are in-game and will probably be activated later.

    * Strength of Wrynn (5%) / Hellscream’s Warsong (5%)
    * Strength of Wrynn (10%) / Hellscream’s Warsong (10%)
    * Strength of Wrynn (15%) / Hellscream’s Warsong (15%)
    * Strength of Wrynn (20%) / Hellscream’s Warsong (20%)
    * Strength of Wrynn (25%) / Hellscream’s Warsong (25%)
    * Strength of Wrynn (30%) / Hellscream’s Warsong (30%)


This obviously great news for the casual guilds who are struggling on bosses like Festergut. A little extra dps and health is probably going to make a number of boss kills more attainable for these guilds. The hardcore guilds, on the other hand, are probably crying out “Too soon!”

Of course, the buff is optional. I’m wondering how many of the hardcore guilds will take advantage of it. Will there be anything to indicate if you used the buff or not when you get your first kill of a boss? Although I’m sure some guilds will look down at the buff as a form of cheating, I think that a lot of hardcore guilds will also want to use every advantage available to them to remain competitive within the guild rankings. Of course, this is assuming the buff is available for hard-modes. I can’t find anything that says for sure one way or the other. Edit: Yes, it is available for hard modes.

Wondering how to get the buff? The buff is applied automatically when you enter the instance. If you do not want the buff, Wrynn or Hellscream will be hanging out near the entrance. Talk to them and say you don’t want their help. The buff will go away.

What do you think? Will your guild be making use of the buff?

Raid Buffs and Debuffs – Part 2

This post is now out of date. For the updated list of debuffs, click here.

This post will outline all the different raid-wide buffs that can be used in raids, and which class/spec is the optimal source of the buff. See here for the post on raid debuffs.

Here are the categories of buffs that can be put on your raid. As with the debuffs, in each category you can only benefit from the most powerful buff used. They do not stack.

Physical buffs

Melee Haste – Increases melee haste by 20%

Who can do it: Frost Death Knights, Shamans

Optimal Application:
Improved Icy Talons from a frost DK is a talented ability that procs off Icy Talons. Windfury Totem also provides a melee haste boost but must be talented (from the enhancement tree) to provide the full 20% boost.

Other Sources:

  • A resto or elemental shaman can also use windfury totem, but will only give a 16% melee haste buff.

Melee/Ranged Critical Strike – 5% melee critical strike

Who can do it: Feral Druids, Fury Warriors

Optimal Application:
Leader of the Pack is applied by a feral druid when they are in cat or bear form. Rampage is applied by Fury warriors after getting a critical strike.

Attack Power Buff (Flat Add) – 548-687 AP

Who can do it: Warriors, Paladins

Optimal Application:
Blessing of Might from a pally. When talented this provides 687 AP.

Other Applications:

  • Battle Shout from a warrior, when talented provides 685 AP. (The shout is 2 AP lower than BoM so overzealous warriors don’t overwrite the blessing).
  • Untalented Blessing of Might, without talents, gives 550 AP.
  • Untalented Battle Shout gives 548 AP.

Attack Power Buff (Multiplier) – 10% AP

Who can do it: Marksman Hunters, Enhancement Shamans, Blood Death Knights

Optimal Application:
Abomination’s Might from a blood DK and Unleased Rage from an enhance shaman will be applied as a passive aura if you are within 100 yards.

Other Applications:

  • Trueshot Aura from a marksman hunter is just as good as the buffs listed above. But if you regularly have a blood DK or enhance shaman in raid, and really want to min/max, hunters can find a better place to spend this talent point.

Agility and Strength Buff – 155-178 Strength and Agility

Who can do it: Death Knights, Shamans

Optimal application:
Strength of Earth Totem, when improved gives 178 strength and agility.

Other sources:

  • Horn of Winter cast by any death knight gives 155 str&agi
  • Unimproved Strength of Earth Totem gives 155 str&agi

Caster buffs

Spell Haste Buff – 5% spell haste

Who can do it: Shamans

Wrath of Air Totem from a shaman is the only buff of its kind.

Spell Critical Strike Chance Buff – 5% spell crit

Who can do it: Balance Druids, Elemental Shamans

Moonkin aura gets applied by a balance druid. Elemental Oath procs on elemental shaman’s critical strikes.

Increased Spell Power Buff – Increases spell power by 144-??

Who can do it: Shamans, Demonology Warlocks

Optimal application:

  • Demonic Pact from a demo lock gives the raid 10% of the warlock’s spell power whenever its pet crits. If an average warlock has 3500 spell power (when buffed), that’s a bonus of 350 spell power for the raid.

Your mileage may vary.

Other sources:

  • Totem of Wrath from an ele shaman provides 280 spell power.
  • Flametongue totem, from a shaman (most likley from a resto) gives 144 spell power, or 165 if talented

Physical and Caster Buffs

Percentage Haste Increase (All Types) – 3% haste

Who can do it: Balance Druids, Retribution Paladins

Improved Moonkin Form and Swift Retribution provide the same buff.

Percentage Damage Increase – 3% damage (physical and magic)

Who can do it: Retribution Paladins, Arcane Mages, Beast Master Hunters

Optimal application:

  • Sanctified Retribution from a ret pally is a constant buff when affected by one of their auras.
  • Arcane Empowerment from an arcane mage is a constant buff.

Other sources:

Stat Increases

Stat Multiplier Buff – 10% increase to stats

Who can do it: Paladins

Optimal application:
Blessing of Kings from any pally.

Other sources:

  • Drums of the Forgotten Kings are made by leatherworkers but are usable by anyone. They boost stats by 8%.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary increases strength and stamina by 10%. This does not stack with Kings.

Stat Add Buff – Increases stats by 52

Who can do it: Druids

Gift of the Wild can be cast by all druids. Improved MotW is a staple in all specs and results in an extra 52 to all base stats.

Other sources:

  • Drums of the Wild are made by leather workers but can be used by anyone. Increases base stats by 37.

Stamina Buff – Increases stamina by 165-214

Who can do it: Priests

Optimal application:
Power Word: Fortitude, when improved gives 214 stamina to the raid. The talent is a staple of most priest specs.

Other sources:

Health Buff – 1330-2818 health

Who can do it: Warriors, Warlocks

Optimal application:
Commanding Shout when talented gives 2818 health.

Other sources:

  • Unimproved Commanding Shout gives 2255 health.
  • Blood Pact from a warlock’s imp gives 1330 health, or 1781 with Improved Imp.

Intellect Buff – 40-60 Intellect

Who can do it: Mages, Warlocks

Optimal Application:
Arcane Intellect from a mage gives 60 int.

Other sources:

  • Fel Intelligence from a warlocks’s fel puppy gives 48 int, or 53 when improved.

Spirit Buff – 64-80 Spirit

Who can do it: Priests, Warlocks

Optimal application:
Divine Spirit from any priest gives 80 spirit.

Other sources:

  • Fel Intelligence from a warlocks’s fel puppy gives 64 spirit, or 70 when improved.

Other buffs

Damage Reduction Buff – Reduces damage taken by 3%

Who can do it: Discipline Priests, Protection Paladins

Optimal Source:
Renewed Hope will be applied to the raid whenever a disc priest uses Power Word: Shield. Blessing of Sanctuary is a prot pally buff.

Percentage Increase Healing Received Buff – Increases healing received by 6%

Who can do it: Restoration Druids, Paladins

Optimal source:
Tree of Life or Improved Devotion Aura from prot or bubble-spec holy pally.

Armor Increase – Increases armor by 1150-1807

Who can do it: Paladins, Shamans

Optimal Application:
Improved Devotion Aura gives 1807 armor

Other applications:

  • Devotion Aura, without talents, gives 1205 armor.
  • Stoneskin Totem gives 1150 armor, or 1380 armor when improved with guardian totems (although this talent is not in your average PVE build)
  • Gift of the Wild increases armor by 1050 when talented. The armor buff does stack with the other armor increase effects.

Mana Restoration

Who can do it: Paladins, Shamans

Optimal Application:
Improved Blessing of Wisdom from a holy pally restores 110 mp5.

Other sources:

  • Blessing of Wisdom without talents restores 92 mp5.
  • Mana spring totem restores 91 mps or 109 mp5 when talented by a resto shaman. (The totem is 1 mp5 lower than BoW so it won’t overwrite the blessing).

Replenishment – Restores 1% of maximum mana every 5 seconds for 15 seconds

Who can do it: Survival Hunters, Frost Mages, Retribution Paladins, Shadow Priests, Destruction Warlocks

All replenishment buffs grant the same amount of mana return. Replenishment will buff the 10 people in raid with the lowest mana. The replenishment effect will not stack, but can be constantly refreshed each time it is triggered.

Replenishment comes from the following talents:

Other sources:
Although not technically a replenishment effect, Revitalize from a resto druid can restore mana, energy or rage on rejuvenation and wild growth ticks. Since it is a different effect, this does stack with replenishment.

Resistances – Increases resistance to a school of magic by 130

Frost – Can given by a paladin aura or shaman totem.
Fire- Can be given by a paladin aura or shaman totem.
Shadow – Can be given by a paladin aura or priest buff.
Nature – Can be given by a shaman totem or hunter aspect.

Gift of the Wild when talented, gives 76 resistance to all schools of magic. It does not stack with the other effects.

For a quick and easy way to tell if your raid group has all the available buffs and debuffs, see MMO Champion’s Raid Comp tool.

Raid Buffs and Debuffs – Part 1

This post is now out of date. For the updated list of raid buffs, click here.

Each class can bring certain benefits to the rest of a raid in the form of buffs for your raid group or debuffs that get put on a boss. For the Blue post on buff/debuff categories, see the official forums (this post is slightly outdated). How important are these things to raid performance? Let’s take my hunter as an example.

According to the Hunter Spreadsheet, with 0 raid buffs or debuffs, I have a max dps of 5520. Not too impressive. But look what happens when we add buffs:

Buffs DPS
None 5520
Best raid debuffs 7157
Best raid buffs 7858
Best buffs and debuffs 9786
*Does not include self-buffs like food and flasks*

Now, I’m sure you didn’t need me to tell you that buffs are good. But play around with your own class’s spreadsheet to find out just how much difference they make. Even something you may think is relatively minor, like Faerie Fire, can make a difference of almost 100 dps for a hunter. And that’s just for one raider. Add those little bonuses up for a whole raid group and you can see how much you’re missing out on if even one of the available buffs/debuffs is missing.

This post will deal with the categories of debuffs that should be present in a raid to optimize performance (buffs to come later in the week). In general, debuffs will serve one of two purposes. They will either increase the damage your raid does to a boss, or decrease the amount of damage a boss does to the raid.

Going back to my hunter, here’s how each individual debuff effects my maximum theoretical dps:

Debuff DPS Increase
20% armor reduction 367
5% armor reduction 86
4% physical damage 167
30% bleed damage 135
3% crit 206
13% spell damage 219

Now, these numbers are slightly misleading, because I’ve just checked what each debuff would give me on its own, without accounting for any other buffs.  When combined with the other debuffs, their value would be much higher (i.e. the addition of 3% crit would be a bigger dps increase if the boss already had the 20% armor reduction debuff). Even still, it’s clear how important it is to have these debuffs up on the boss in order to achieve the best possible raid dps and make those dps-check bosses, like Festergut, more doable.

Here are the categories of debuffs that can be put on a boss. In each category, you can only benefit from one debuff (the most powerful one). They do not stack.

Major Armor Debuff – Reduces armor by 20%

Who can do it: Warriors, Rogues, worms (exotic hunter pet)

Optimal application:
Sunder Armor from a protection warrior. This will be put up as part of their normal tanking rotation.

Other sources:

Lacking a prot warrior, is it optimal for a rogue or warrior to be applying this debuff? That question is a bit too mathy for me. For discussion on this topic see: EJ. Or just tell your rogue and warrior to roll-off and the loser has to apply it.

Shattering Throw – This also applies an armor debuff, but has a short duration and a cast time. It can be used to quickly get the debuff up on a boss during a pull before sunders have been stacked. Note: This ability actually stacks with the 20% debuff from Sunder (thank you Rilgon!).

There is also an armor reducing ability used by worms, but as this is an exotic (BM only) hunter pet, you probably won’t be seeing too many of these in raids.

Minor Armor Debuff – Reduces armor by 5%

Who can do it: Druids, Warlocks, wasps (hunter pet)

Optimal Application:
Faerie Fire is used by Feral druids for threat, and balance druids use it for extra hit and crit on the boss.

Other sources:

  • Faerie Fire – If you don’t have a feral or balance druid, resto druids can apply this as well. It does mean leaving tree form, but even if you can just cast it once at the beginning of the fight, it lasts 5 minutes and will buff the physical dps.
  • Sting – applied by a hunter’s wasp pet
  • Curse of Weakness – applied by a warlock. Since curses can make up a large part of a warlock’s personal dps, this should be used only if you have no druids. If you have a caster-heavy group, it might not be worth it.

Physical Vulnerability Debuff – Increases physical damage taken by 4%

Who can do it: Arms Warriors, Combat Rogues

Optimal application:
This is a talented ability that it is applied by arms warriors as Blood Frenzy and combat rogues as Savage Combat.

Bleed Damage Debuff – Increases bleed damage taken by 30%

Who can do it: Feral Druids, Arms Warriors

Optimal Application:
Mangle – This is used by bear tanks as part of their tanking rotation.

Other sources:

  • Trauma – An arms warrior talent that procs off critical strikes.
  • Feral kitties also have mangle, but are happier when they have someone else to put the debuff up for them.

Spell Critical Strike Chance Debuff – Increases chance to be critically struck by spells by 5%

Who can do it: Affliction Warlocks, Demonology Warlocks, Fire Mages, Frost Mages

Optimal Application:
Improved Shadow Bolt – Although this talent is in the Destruction tree, it is not used by destro locks. Affliction or demonology warlocks are the ones who will be bringing this debuff to raids.

Other sources:

  • Improved Scorch – A mage talent in the Fire tree.
  • Winter’s Chill – A mage talent in the Frost tree.
    Non-arcane raiding mages are few and far between at the moment. A lock is your best bet.

Increased Spell Damage Taken Debuff: Increases magic damage taken by 13%

Who can do it: Unholy Death Knights, Balance Druids, Warlocks

Optimal Application:
Ebon Plaguebringer from an unholy DK or Earth and Moon from a moonkin will be automatically applied when they use their abilities.

Other sources:

  • Curse of the Elements – This can be used by warlocks, but will interfere with their personal dps. Used as a last resort.

Increased Spell Hit Chance Taken Debuff – Increases chance to be hit by spells by 3%

Who can do it: Balance Druids, Shadow Priests

Optimal application:
Improved Faerie Fire from a moonkin or Misery from a shadow priest are both applied as part of their own dps rotations.

Critical Strike Chance Debuff (Physical and Spell) – Increases chance to be critically struck by 3%

Who can do it: Retribution Paladins, Elemental Shamans, Assassination Rogues

Optimal Application:
Heart of the Crusader from a ret pally is applied whenever they judge the boss. Master Poisoner is applied whenever an assissination rogue poisons a target. Totem of Wrath is dropped by an ele shaman.

Melee Attack Speed Slow Debuff – Reduces attack speed by 10-20%

Who can do it: Warriors, Feral Druids, Frost Death Knights, Protection Paladins, Enhancement Shamans

Optimal application:
Generally, tanks are the best ones to apply this debuff, especially when they have the ability talented to reduce attack speed by 20%.

  • Thunderclap – Applied by prot warriors.
  • Infected Wounds – Applied by feral tanks.
  • Judgements of the Just – Applied by prot pallies.

Other sources:

  • Frost Fever – DKs, 14% untalented. 20% with Improved Icy touch.
  • Earth Shock – 10% reduction, applied by enh shaman.

Attack Power Debuff – Reduces attack power by 410-575

Who can do it: Feral Druids, Warriors, Warlocks

Optimal application:
This is best applied by whoever has talent points spent on it.

  • Demorilizing Roar – Used by bear druids. Reduces AP by 575 when talented.
  • Demoralizing Shout – Used by warriors. Reduces AP by 575 when talented.

Other sources:

  • Non-talented demo roar or demo shout.
  • Curse of Weakness – Can be used by warlocks. Reduces AP by 574 when talented (affliction tree). Again, not optimal for a warlock to have to put this up.

The debuffs above are the ones you should aim to always have on the boss. Below are some more situational debuffs.

Healing debuff – Reduces healing taken by 50%

Who can do it: Rogues, MM/SV Hunters, Arms Warriors, Fury Warriors

Optimal Application:
Mortal Strike from an arms warrior and Aimed Shot from a survival or marksman hunter are both is used as part of normal dps rotations.

Other sources:

  • Wound poison – Can be used by rogues as a weapon coating
  • Furious Attacks – Warrior fury talent. Mostly used for PVP, don’t expect a raiding warrior to have this.
  • Improved Mind Blast – Shadow Priest. Only reducing healing taken by 20%
  • Permafrost – Frost mage. Smells like PVP. Only reducing healing taken by 20%

Cast Speed Slow – Decreases cast-time by 30%

Who can do it: Rogues, Arcane Mages, Warlocks, serpents (hunter pet)

Optimal Application:
It depends how long the effect is needed. If needed for a whole fight, Mind-numbing Poison from a rogue is your best bet. If it’s needed only temporarily, the other choices are:

  • Slow – Arcane mage talent.
  • Curse of Tongues – Warlock
  • Poison Spit – serpent pet

Melee Hit Chance Reduction Debuff – Reduces chance to hit by 3%

This debuff is generally defunct. For the two classes that can apply it, it would mean taking a large dps hit. And besides, your tanks need more rage 😛

But here’s how you can get the debuff if you’re really adamant:

  • Insect Swarm – Moonkin talent. Glyph of Insect Swarm removes the hit chance reduction.
  • Scorpid Sting – Hunter shot. Serpent Sting is a big part of dps for any hunter spec, so this sting does not get used.

Edit: With the recent changes to Starfall, the Glyph of Insect Swarm is no longer considered one of the top three glyphs. It is now feasible to have the melee hit chance reduction debuff in your raid if you have a moonkin. Don’t ask a hunter to provide it though.

For the next part of this post, see Raid Buffs and Debuffs – Part 2