The Icing on the Cake.

Flasks and Elixirs

Any player can have 1 Flask active at a time, or 2 Elixirs – 1 Battle and 1 Guardian.

For the most part flasks to give slightly more benefit than having 1 of each Elixir (by about 10%). This both due to pure itemization, but also because certain Elixirs don’t do much for certain specs. Melee DPS doesn’t get much use out of any of the Gaurdian Elixirs for example, while tanks get little use from Battle Elixirs (depending on gear level).

Flasks also persist through death, while Elixirs fade just as any other buff when you die. Which means even though Elixirs are generally about 1/3 as expensive as a flask, if you are dieing often, Flasks are actually cheaper in the long run, while also offering better buffs..

If you anticipate dieing fairly often (progression content) Flasks are always the best option for both your coin purse, and your performance.

Are Flasks really that good?

Flasks are basically temporary buffs you can give yourself.  For WotLK, they come in 4 basic flavors; AP, HP, SP, Mp5.  But how do they stack up to other buffs?

Comparing Flasks to even the best enchants in the game – Flasks just flat out smoke them. How many melee DPSers have +110 AP or Berserking on their weapon? (all of them I hope…) The comparision between 110 AP and the Flask of Endless Rage is obvious. The Flask gives 70 more AP, or 63%. Berserking averages out to ~140 AP over the course of a fight. The Flasks  still comes out ahead, providing 29% more AP than THE best melee DPS enchant in the game. This is also without taking into consideration buffs you typically get in raids, which further increases a Flask’s effectiveness over enchants.

The same is true for casters and their appropriate enchants and flasks.

Technically speaking – you’re better off using a Flask than enchanting your weapon. Ever see someone in Dalaran with good gear that had no enchants on it? Not Flasking in a raid is pretty much the same thing. (This isn’t to say you should not enchant your gear!!! Read below for more)

But Ande, flasks are expensive…

On my server, most flasks go for about 30g each, some for 20g each. My guild raids 3 hours a night, predictably. This means at most you will spend 100g (rounding up even) on flasks for the night. I, as a plate wearing tank, spend about the same – or more on repair bills every night.

There are quests in the Argent Tournament arena that will give ~26g each, that take about 5 mins to complete. 1 stack of most gatherable materials (ores, herbs, leathers) go for ~20g each. 3-4 quests, or 3-4 stacks of mats will cover your flasks for one evening of raiding.

Or even better. Do like I do. I buy the mats off the AH, then take them to one of our Elixir spec Alchemists to make for me. Elixir spec alchemists can proc additional flasks up to 5x. 5 Flasks for the price of one – BOOSH. I usually buy mats for 10 flasks at a time off the AH (one weeks worth). Costs me about 200g (buying mats is cheaper than buying finished product). More often than not the Alchemists proc an extra 4 for me. 14 Flasks for 200g (14g 40s each – about ½ what they go for on the AH). Two weeks ago I got a 5x, and a 2x proc, giving me 20 flasks for same mats as it would have took to make 10.

Using the examples above for farming, or daily questing, you’d only have to do about 8 quests, or grind 8 stacks of mats to cover your flasks for the entire week. Most players can do that within 1 hour.

Cart Before the Horse

One of the players in my guild, brought up the following point (slightly paraphrased). 

If your DPS/heals suck adding 180 ap or 120 sp isn’t going to do shit – your DPS/heals will still suck.  You’ll get more benefit if you work on your rotation.

My response –

Well, by that same token the same is true for Pally buffs, Mark of the Wild, etc. (How many people bitch when they don’t have Might?  Every-fucking-one.)  Same as wearing only 1 trinket, or ring, instead of 2 each. Each individual buff is not game breaking, I admit that. But each buff stacks with all the other buffs. Taking a flask and eating some delicious fishes increase your AP by 240 or SP by 166 – that’s at least as much as an item level 226 item gives you. This is increased more by things like Trueshot Aura that stack with every buff you get, including Kings, Might and the whole lot.

I also agree 110% that you’d get more bang for the buck by working on your ability rotation or priority.  But it’s a moot point here.  Also – even if you’re DPS is good with 3800 AP, it will be even better with 3980 AP. Which as I stated above, is the same as the difference between a wearing 1 trinket/ring or 2.

Prep for Wiping

This statement was also brought up:

I see no point on flasking or wasting fish feasts on a progression fight until we are past the point of wiping because of boss mechanics.

Most guilds/players do the exact opposite. Learning bosses takes time and money (gold).  Again, by that same logic, we probably don’t need to be wasting reagents buffing players for each attempt either.  Which of course – is just silly.  You use every advantage you can get.  In this case, it comes in the form of an inexpensive, temporary, personal buff

Once you have the boss/instance farm status, is when you recoup the gold from the previous month’s learning process. After you can clear the instance in 2 days without breaking a sweat is when you want to slack off on buffs, not when you’re still wiping on the same mobs over and over.

The first week or 2 in an instance will cost money – loads and loads of money. But even only after a few weeks in Uludar25, my guild was killing 5-6 bosses in 1 night with very minimal wipes (I think most wipes are on trash even ). Worst case scenario, I don’t see how a player could not at least break even on those nights of raiding. If you can kill 6-8 bosses in 1 night in Ulduar, you’ll pickup about 150g just from the bosses. That’s not even counting the money from trash.  That pays for flasks right there, with some change left over for repairs.

The Good of the Many

Individually Flasks are just a nice buff, but when they added en masse to a raid, it makes a big difference.

This is another comment someone made. Assume a 25 man raid with 3 tanks, 6 heals, 6 casters, 8 physical DPS (Hunters included as physical). All casters taking flasks increases raid-wide Spell power by 1500 (to compare an Ulduar geared Mage has ~2100 unbuffed SP). All physical DPS flasking increases raid-wide AP by 1880 (before buffs even).

If we’re assuming a melee DPS can crank out a conservative ~4k DPS with his ~5k AP(buffed), and a Mage will put out 4k with his ~2500 SP(buffed), Flasks add an extra 3800 DPS to the raid if everyone uses them. That’s like cloning a DPSer and 26 mannning it.

The difference between a green quality gem and a Epic quality gem is 8 STR/Agil or 10 SP. The cost difference between the 2, depending upon the AH, is about 100g. Assume the average Naxx/Ulduar gearset has 5 gem slots in it (not counting Meta) the average player spends close to 1000g to increase their STR/Agil by 40 (40 or 80AP depending upon class) or increase their SP by 50. Enchants are very similar in this too.

Spend 1000g for 80 AP, or spend 40g for 180 AP?

Summary

There’s no reason to raid without Flasking. Most people will enchant and gem their gear as soon as they get it – which they should, no doubt. The combination of some gems and enchants can run a player a few hundred gold easily for just 1 piece of gear. Multiply that by the 9 (or 11 for Enchanters) pieces of gear that have enchants available, and most players will spend literally thousands of gold enchanting their gear. There’s no reason you can’t spend 100g for a nights raid – especially when a single flask gives you much, much more benefit than every single enchant in the game.

If your gear makes up the majority of your stats, then Flasks are the icing on the cake.  Flasks are nearly as good as a single piece of gear. Running without one is like running with lower quality gear, or no gear at all.
Wiping 4x on a boss, costs most players as much as buying 1 flask off the AH. If everyone in the raid was using a flask, would you have wiped at all?

Plus, no one likes cake without icing anyway.

Raid on.

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~ by Andenthal on September 24, 2009.

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