Posted by: Grumpy | July 26, 2008

Gearing a Mage for Karazhan

Call me crazy, but I’ve gone off and started a raid group during the summer doldrums and just prior to the new expansion coming out.  In our group we have some veterans who are just getting their alts into Karazhan for the first time and some completely new raiders who’ve never stepped foot in a raid dungeon before.

I’ve had few questions about gearing in preparation for the raid recently, so I though I’d write a little article about it. Many of the things I’m talking about apply to Warlocks and Shadow Priests as well, but the target numbers will be different for those classes and individual specs.

Remember this article is about gearing for Karazhan, we’re talking pre-tier 4 gear here, so I’m not going to talk too much about spell haste.

Our unbuffed spec targets to begin Karazhan are:

  • More than 6% +Spell Hit.
  • More than 550 +Spell Damage.
  • More than 15% +Spell Critical Strike rating.
  • More than 8500 mana.
  • More than 8000 health.

But what does all of that mean?

My Forsaken Frost Mage

My Frost Mage right before entering Karazhan for the first time


Stats: When it comes to stats for mage gear the priority is this…

For Frost and Fire Specs
#1) +Spell Hit (Until you are hit capped)
#2) +Spell Haste (You probably wont have to worry about this stat until post-Kara)
#3) +Spell Damage
#4) +Spell Critical Strike (Spell Crit)
#5) +Spell Penetration

For Arcane Spec
#1) +Spell Hit (Until you are hit capped)
#2) +Spell Damage
#3) +Intellect
#4) +Spell Critical Strike (Spell Crit)
#5) +Spell Haste (You probably wont have to worry about this stat until post-Kara)
#6) +Spell Penetration

Source: Elitist Jerks: [Mage] Sweet Information Thread.

Spell Hit: An attribute which contributes to the likelihood that a spell will hit the target. It can be obtained by talents, gems, enchants and gear. A spell shot uses two rolls, first is the to hit roll, if it doesn’t hit there is no need for the second roll.  It can’t do damage and can’t crit. This makes +spell hit very important.

Hit Cap: The base chance to hit with no +spell hit is 83%. Being hit capped brings that chance up to 99%. For the Arcane school of magic the hit cap is 76, for Frost and Fire it is 164.

Spell Damage and Healing: An attribute that contributes to the amount of damage or healing that a spell will do.

Spell Critical Strike: Occasionally a spell will have what is called a Critical Strike, when this happens the spell will cause extra damage. You can affect your chances to have a critical strike with gear, talents, buffs and potions.

Choices: A few of really good items that I’ve found to really boost your +spell hit stats are the [Robe of the Crimson Order], the [Starlight Dagger], and if you’re revered with the Scryers, the [Scryer’s Bloodgem]. There are probably a LOT of other good items out there.


I use for my gem recommendations. I’ll keep this list to blue gems only. If you get your hands on a purple gem that has better stats more power to you. I’d try to stay away from the green gems as they have worse stats, unless you are gemming an item that you know for certain that you are going to replace very soon.

By Color, each color’s gems are listed in order of desirability.

Runed Living Ruby.


Great Dawnstone, Quick Dawnstone, Gleaming Dawnstone, Brilliant Dawnstone.

Veiled Noble Topaz, Reckless Noble Topaz, Potent Noble Topaz.

Forceful Talasite, Radiant Talasite, Dazzling Talasite.

None, use a purple instead.

Glowing Nightseye

Meta Gems
Chaotic Skyfire Diamond, Mystical Skyfire Diamond, Ember Skyfire Diamond, Swift Starfire Diamond, Destructive Skyfire Diamond, Insightful Earthstorm Diamond.

Meta gems have prerequisites that must be met before their special abilities kick in. For instance a meta gem may require more red gems on your character than blue gems. As long as you have more red gems than blue, your meta gem will work.

One thing that I am doing is to use the Orange gem, Veiled Noble Topaz, in red sockets up until I am hit capped. Once I get above the hit cap I’ll start substituting Runed Living Rubies in there. Or I could substitute the yellow spell haste gems for the spell hit gems.

Note: Sometimes it is desirable to use a gem that is not the same color as it’s socket because sometimes the benefit of doing so is greater than the socket bonus. See MaxDPS for gem recommendations for individual items.


Enchants should give your character more of the stats that are important to that class. The following are recommended, but the list is not prioritized in any way.

Glyph of Power

Shoulders (In no particular order)
Greater Inscription of the Orb (Scryer – Exalted), Inscription of the Orb (Scryer – Revered),
Zandalar Signet of Mojo (Zandalar – Exalted & 15 tokens), Inscription of Discipline (Aldor – Revered), Greater Inscription of Discipline (Aldor – Exalted)

Major Intellect, Restore Mana Prime, Spellpower

Spell Strike, Major Spellpower, Blasting, Magister’s Armor Kit

Magister’s Armor Kit, Restore Mana Prime, Exceptional Stats


Mystic Spellthread, Runic Spellthread, Magister’s Armor Kit

Magister’s Armor Kit, Vitality, Boar’s Speed, Fortitude

Major Spellpower, Soulfrost, Sunfire

Other Resources:

Elitist Jerks,, be.imba, WowWebStats.

Wow Insider: Arcane Brilliance: Gearing your Mage for Karazhan



%d bloggers like this: