Rhii and I have had a long history with the fire talent Cauterize. When Cataclysm was new and shiny and Eff the Ineffable started running 5 mans, Rhii would often be my healer and I’d often die from Cauterize. For the longest time it seemed that the talent was the number one gnome mage killer localized to my WoW account. But the thing I kept remembering was that it was only activated when I was going to die anyway, so I looked at the extra time as “EFF YOU MOBS!!” revenge time instead of a second chance to live. Rhii and I fretted over it in different ways completely anchored in our positions. She fretted that she didn’t realize that I had a DoT on me that was slowly ticking towards my doom, and I fretted because I should almost never die from cauterize be it because of healer love or my own Ice Block. The problem for both of us was realizing when the Cauterize was in play. That healer dumb dps tension was forged in January and came back last Friday when we made some serious raid time work on Chimaeron who I call Chimichanga.
For those who are not familiar with the fight it is largely a healer check and a tank taunt check. DPS for the most part just needs to be able to know when to stack and when to spread, and help out with save your ass abilities when you can. The challenge in this fight largely centers around Finkle’s Mixture which sets a threshold of health. If healers can consistently keep you just above 10k and get you back there quickly when you get hit you will do fine.
So we started this fight and I thought I’d run arcane because a reduced cooldown on evocate would help out a lot being able to self heal more often. The problem is most of the time your healers are better at getting you above 10k than you are at timing self heal abilities to get there yourself. Do not interpret that as “never use self heals” just that this fight requires you to put a lot of faith in your healers. We go through a lot of tries. We work out cooldown rotations for tanks and healers, work out our taunting issues and as a complete minor problem for the raid (but major to me) is I keep dying pretty early in the fight.
We come to the last couple attempts and I announce I’m switching back to fire because I’m more comfortable with it and when learning a fight you should do what you are more comfortable. Over vent Rhii says “Gnoble I’m worried about cauterize…” in a tone of voice that you would expect from your mom when you say you were going to forget traditional college to be a professional hackey sack player.
But here is the thing, Caurterize saved my life. I know that it did and as a result I lived long enough to make major contributions to Chimichanga’s death. As our heal team gets more comfortable with this fight I fully expect it not to be activated very often or at all, but in this learning phase when I’m hearing Zel hyperventilating in the other corner of the home office, I know that Caurterize is like a second coating of Finkle’s Mixture, and it will pretty much only be used when the healer didn’t get you above 10k fast enough before the next massacre.
It might still make Rhii a bit nervous, but in the end a fire mage needs to take ownership of cauterize and his ability to clear it with ice block. If you can manage that you will increase your survivability in this fight a good amount.