Rhedd was rooting around in the ground near a bush looking for some food to cram into her pack, like always, and Xornn stood to haste his animation again. Broon, the mighty cyclops, would be coming up to the canyon mouth any minute now, from the word given by the ranger that had spotted him from high on the lip of the pass to Highhold. As Xornn sat back down, the druid shouted that Broon was in sight, and Xornn resigned to study his tome of magic another time.
Broon hadn't spotted them yet, but his huge tree-trunk legs were chewing up the ground in earth shaking strides. Xornn calmly waited for the right moment, then stepped out from behind the rocks to cast Tashani on the lumbering hulk. As Broon sensed the attack he set into a charge, but Rhedds snaring magic slowed the run to a crawling gait. Quickly the animation was upon the cyclops and Xornn altered Broon's perceptions into that of fear, as he turned to flee his obvious death (somewhat magically inspired) but found the druid's spell rendering his flight into a slow motion escapade from a dream sequence. Then it got harder to breath and winds began to violently take hardened form and whip away his flesh in peels...
By this point you have probably caught onto something--the method you use to advance further in your enchanting career changes very little now. Only the tools available to you. Should you choose to perform crowd control in groups, solo kamikaze-style, kite (or reverse) with a steady partner, or truly show nerves of steel with daring charm-solos, you have seen the avenues lain before the enchanter, and gotten a feel for the spell lines required for each, as well as learned to manage your eight spell slots well. From the Fifth Circle on, it's pretty much only upgrades to your current arsenal. My presentation style will change now, with less hand-holding explanations, more commentation on spell upgrades, and tactics broke into sections with summaries of changes to previous usage. Without further ado, let's examine this Circle's additions.
Benevolence - Upgrade to Alliance. I take Dubious mobs to Indifferent with this spell, and Apprehensive to Amiable. Combined with the proper race combination, you can go pretty much anywhere, and even complete most quests--even ones not intended for your race/class!
Berzerker Strength - +25STR by 30th, and 50HP Shield by 60th. Targetted spell costs 40 mana, and honestly sees little to no use. With a short duration of three minutes or when the HP Shield is used up, plus the AGI decrease effectively lowering the target's AC by 5, Strengthen is really just a better spell, especially when you can cast Strengthen 5 times for only 5 more mana than this spell, and neither really have a lasting impact by this level. Back of the book spell here. Research spell with Tasarins Grimoire page 30 left & right.
Calm - Upgrade in the Lull series. Collector's spell, though of some use on very green mobs.
Cloud - Upgrade in the Haze series. Caps at +11AC by 25th. Clerics and Shamans have a better AC buffs than this by now, but when they aren't around this does nicely, or when trying to save the cleric some mana.
Color Shift - One of your uber-spells. Upgrade to Color Flux, as well as key piece of one of the last techniques the enchanter must learn, stun-locking. At 40 mana, this 1.5 second casting time stuns a larger area (25 foot diameter) of mobs for 6 seconds, for 40 mana. Combined with the 20 mana and 4 second stun of Color Flux, you can basically stun a mob for 10 seconds using only 60 mana. During that 10 seconds, the melee damage to the mob isn't being answered (the tanks aren't getting hit back), which the tanks love. The area of effect is much larger than Color Flux, and you must learn how far is safe... but about a small room is the radius. Research spell with Tasarins Grimoire page 312 left & right.
Crystallize Mana - Used to make... well... I've never actually cast the spell. Just bought it from the Brownies in Lesser Faedark and scribed it to complete my collection. It makes something for some obscure armor quest I was once told, but I honestly never cared to check.
Endure Magic - As you encounter more and more spell-casting mobs you are going to fall in love with this targetted buff. Raises Magic Resistance +20. Research spell with Tasarins Grimoire page 375 left & right, or obtain at Cleric Guild.
Feckless Might - Upgrade to Ebbing Strength, -30STR cap at 28th. While a full debuff spread is quite impressive by the numbers, this pure STR debuff will do little to nothing to impact a fight. While the number of full strength hits a mob inflicts will be reduced slightly, casting Choke once will shorten the fight enough to duplicate it's impact. I still suggest not bothering with it outside of dueling situations (which still I don't recommend it unless you just want to humiliate someone). You'll blow half your mana or more to debuff a mob with a full spread, then struggle to outrace your pet with the rest. In a group, blowing mana this frivilously is out of the question. Debuffing STR has its place in the enchanting way--Player vs Player.
Illusion: Iksar - This spell is obtained through a long and difficult quest in Kunark. I bought the spell from a very high level enchanter, and honestly until you reach the Ninth or Tenth Circle, you have little chance of getting this spell without a lot of assistance. After two weeks and three deaths in Kunark, I only obtained 2 of the 4 quest components before breaking down and purchasing the spell. (Infravision & cool-looking)
Illusion: Ogre - The Ogre cannot be stunned from the front. (Infravision)
Illusion: Troll - Troll form gains regeneration and infravision. Bear in mind this regeneration is 1HP per tic, standing or sitting. Over the course of 36 minutes, you will receive 360HP. (Assuming you never hit full health.) Still, regen is regen, just don't expect to be blown away.)
Intellectual Superiority - Upgrade to the 12th level spell Intellectual Advancement, this spell checks for fizzles as though you were 6 levels higher. Again not a must-have spell, but I've found a few times it was actually helpful.
Shifting Sight - This spell is the same as Bind Sight, only you have Infravision when you use it.
Sisna's Animation - Meet your latest damage factory. Requiring 3 Tiny Daggers again, the last of the "axe" series can be expected to have maximum damage outputs of 14 to 22, depending on its level. If you can, resummon till you get the 20 to 22 hitter--it will make a huge difference in not only the damage per hit, but the higher level pet hits more. This animation also gains the ability to Kick, and double attacks just about every round. Double-slash, bash-kick, double-slash, double-slash, bash-kick. That's what this things fighting looks like now. With Quicken it brings tears to your eyes.
Sympathetic Aura - The first of our Charisma buffs! +18CHA cap at 24th, and really helps boost your CHA without needing equipment, and more importantly helps lower resists with charm and mezzing, even if only minorly. This and Breeze were always buffed on me, even when just travelling.
Tashani - The upgrade to Tashan, giving -23MR by level 26, and a mana cost of 20, while retaining the 1 second cast time. This spell is a welcome addition to our easily resisted nukes we carry in our spellbooks.
Strategies and changes to those strategies are listed below, but first let me start with an analysis of stun-locks.
Stun-Locking has a multitude of uses, all of which I will mention below, and it also offers almost a complete soloing ability by itself. Here however, I'm just going to explain how stun-locking is accomplished. Color Flux has a 1 second cast for a 4 second stun. Color Shift is 1.5 second cast for 6 seconds of stun. Both have a re-cast delay of 12 seconds. Drop Color Flux, and when the spells become available to cast, you have around 2 seconds to cast. If you can wait just a split-second, then cast Color Shift, then you land the six second stun right as the Flux wears off, leaving the mob unable to move still. Now if you truly landed the spell perfectly, the stun will go out to a 10 second duration, meaning that Color Flux is just becoming available as the stun lifts. Typically the mob will get one swing, then the stun lands again. Stun-Locking causes a very large amount of aggro in the mob (stuns do this), and I will discuss this in each tactic area stun-locks are used. After much practice, I am able to restrict a mob to a maximum of one "attack tick" every ten seconds, for 60 mana every round of stunning. Oftentimes, I actually re-establish the lock before the mob's "attack tic" occurs (as apparently your tic for when to swing runs even when stunned), making for a seamless stun. Do not believe that you can chain-stun without ever giving the mob a swing, though. 4 seconds + 6 seconds = 10 seconds. You need 13 seconds for it to be a total stun-lock, as after Color Flux ungreys (12 seconds of stun later), you still have the 1 second casting time.
I can't emphasize just how powerful this is. Now let's look at your tactics.
First a look at your buffs. When Solo, you should carry Breeze, Sympathetic Aura, Cloud, Shielding up. Your pet should have Strengthen, Cloud, Quicken. (You might drop Strengthen on yourself too. You aren't ever meleeing anymore, but it doesn't hurt to have 10 STR to help with encumberance, and you already memmed it to put on your pet, too. Quicken is going to have to be renewed frequently, and you might as well just set a spell slot aside for it unless you really like memming spells. I'm used to switching spells a lot, even three or four times during battle, but I still don't like it.) Group buffing will be a little different; you need Breeze and Sympathetic Aura up at all times, and you should find the time to drop Shielding. Cloud will most likely be surpassed by another AC buffer (such as Cleric or Shaman) and let them fill this role when they can--otherwise Cloud goes on anyone who is supposed to be taking damage. Strengthen on anyone that is going to melee (often covered by Shamans as well), and Quicken on whichever party members will be meleeing... as it's going to be your most profound damage assistance.
Kamikaze-Solo - The traditional Kamikaze-Solo still entails taking your Quickened pet, pulling a mob with Tashani (always blue, less downtime, easier fight, great experience), take a shot to put the pet in, drop Languid Pace, Sanity Warp, tank till you take a decent hit, then Flux/Root and back out, then Sanity Warp till Root breaks, re-Flux/re-Root, and continue till the mob dies. You and your pet don't take too much damage, you easily outrace your pet, and mana used will return at about the same rate your pet heals. Using this method, whenever I had the mana to take something on, my pet had the health too. I love Kamikaze-Solo, and to this day, I still use it. Stun-Locking can be used if the fight is going poorly and your pet is looking really tore up, by just stepping in and Stun-Locking as long as you can. Bear in mind that the aggro from stun-locking will make your pet unable to taunt the mob off you in all likelihood, but it will keep your pet alive, and you have to take one shot every ten seconds. Not bad. There is a whole new solo-ability based on this, which I'll cover later on. Basically, the only change to Kamikaze-Solo is the use of Tashani over Tashan, and the ability to Stun-Lock in a jam, which will apply for the rest of your career. Spell Lineup - Sanity Warp, Choke/Chaotic Feedback, Color Flux, Root, Enthrall, Languid Pace, Tashani, Swap Slot. Color Shift often replaces Choke/Chaotic Feedback for full stunlocking, and Memory Blur over Languid Pace..
Reverse-Kite-Partner - I won't mention Kite-Solo anymore, because anytime your partner can snare you should Reverse-Kite. Your pet equals not only a damage factory, but consider it an unresistable DOT that costs you the life needed to get it fighting. That's worth it. You Tashani, they Snare, you take a hit, then Chase the Moon. Nuke if you're wanting to speed things, but with a decent CHA Chase the Moon will hold for ages and ages. I usually just plod along after the mob dropping Chase the Moon when it fades, and toward the end of the fight, just nuke it to finish (when it would be a waste to fear again). Necromancer's Fear isn't as good as Chase the Moon (they pass our ability in the Ninth Circle, and we catch up in the Tenth again), and the Clinging Darkness series of movement impeding isn't as effective as Snare. However, pets follow the slightly faster mob with ease, and the Darkness line is a DOT. Druids and Necromancers are always going to be amazing partners for enchanters. Spell lineup: Sanity Warp, Choke, Color Flux, Root, Enthral, Chase the Moon, Tashani, Swap Slot
Group-Tactics - In the group, you take on a whole new role: Stun-Lock. First off, let me talk about Quicken. For 80 mana you grant a 30% attack speed increase to one group member for a short duration. If you're just dropping Tashani and Languid Pace on incoming mobs, this is worth it, as you'll be doing crowd control and meditating at all times. Dropping that single Languid Pace is also the equivalent of dropping Quicken on your entire group of melee members, but you will have to do this for every pull. If there are three people in the melee, you can often skip Languid Pace, because with three tanks you'll be casting Languid too often, and a quick stun lock will totally stop damage for 10 seconds at the same mana usage, which will be more effective than Languid Pace. But, with Languid you can med during the fight. What it boils down to is how much mana you have to play with. Now I've mentioned stun-locking twice so far, and let me explain when you do and don't use it.
During any fight where mezzing is required, get that taken care of first. It's your primary goal. After that's taken care of, your second goal is to make sure people are buffed. Then make sure to land Tashani if any spells are going to be thrown at it. Languid Pace needs to find their way onto whichever mob is being fought when it will be of use--but if it's almost dead before crowd control is taken care of, just let them finish it, and meditate. Don't feel like you haven't done your part; if you hadn't mezzed the extra mob or two, they would be hitting the tanks--or even the casters--which is much more damage prevented than Languid Pace would have done.
However, on a single-mob fight, when it's safe to (you learn quickly when Color Shift will aggro mobs not in the fight--the range isn't that big, though), you drop Tashani on the mob, then step in and begin to stun-lock. Two amazing things will happen; first, you will watch the tanks rip through the mob without taking any damage. Second, the aggro you build from stunning won't matter, as it continues staying aggro to the tanks. Consider this: Stunning for 10 seconds, with just my pet and Muadan, the 30th paladin I traveled with usually, Muadan will inflict about 200 damage over that ten seconds, and my pet will do about 150 (this doesn't include Augmentation, an attack speed buff that lasts 30 minutes). That's 350 damage inflicted for 60 mana, during which the tanks took no damage--that makes stun-locking the equivalent of an uber-nuke. The mob will then take one swing at Muadan, then the lock re-establishes, for another 350. Each bubble of mana I have as High Apprentice of the Eighth Circle represents around 175 mana. I can stun for 30 seconds (getting over 1000 damage on the mob) and use one bubble of mana. This is just with a paladin and my pet--I hope you can see the amazing power of stun-locking.
Needless to say, don't bother with Languid Pace in a stun-locking situation. If you wish to become adept at stun-locking, I'll tell you how I did. First I found a Deathfist Pawn and cast Tashani to pull him. I then sat there and practiced holding the lock on him. When you run out of mana, kill it, and scroll back to see how many cycles of stunning you had, and how mana swings the mob took. When you get good there is one attack round before Flux lands again.
Spell Lineup: Mesmerization, Color Shift, Color Flux, Root, Enthrall, Languid Pace, Swap Slot. Mesmerization often replaces Sanity Warp, as you won't be nuking mobs while grouped much anymore.. Charm can often be swapped in over Languid Pace or into the Swap as well when you plan to do full bore crowd control.
Charm-Solo - Tashani is a beautiful addition to Charm-Soloing, and one you will love with. Keeping Color Shift instead of Flux memmed will buy you an extra two seconds for regaining control, though it's typically not needed--during charm-solo you want the faster casting time of Color Flux. Stun-Locking can be used to make sure your pet wins the fight when it's close, but I recommend against that because Charm breaking right after you stun can make regaining control very difficult. Just nuke it if it looks close. Soon you will have a longer casting time charm spell, and then Color Shift will be mandatory. Spell Lineup: Sanity Warp, Charm, Color Flux, Root, Enthrall/Mesmerize, Languid Pace, Tashani, Swap Slot (Rune I)
Now after all your patience, I give you what I find to be our most powerful and reliable solo-technique to date:
Kamikaze-Stun-Solo - That's right, take Kamikaze ability of fast, free damage from your pet, and combine it with the cheap damage prevention of Stun-Lock. The end result is that you have a highly effective, mana efficient method to drop steady blues. However, you will not be outracing your pet, which is why I avoided this technique for so long. The idea of Memory Blur and Nuking to outrace your pet doesn't interest me, as the little damage factory can often outrace you before the long casting time of the nuke finishes.
Instead, you should just nuke during the fight.
Tashani pull, then get your pet behind the mob, and Color Flux, then Color Shift--your pet is hitting for great damage, and you're waiting for Color Flux to ungrey. Rather than just standing there, after Color Shift finishes, you've got 6 seconds before Color Flux will be available to cast. Sanity Warp takes 3 seconds to cast. As soon as Shift lands I just fire off Sanity Warp. Now, when the stun lifts the mob will be aggro to you for sure, and your pet is tagging it in the back, which we know is always good. Color Flux, Color Shift, Sanity Warp. The nukes assures that you outrace your pet, while the stun-lock keeps your pet healthy. If you Flux/Root, your pet is getting hit the entire time you're nuking. The idea is that you nuke the mob out before your pet dies. In this technique, your pet hits for more from behind, and you keep anyone from taking damage. Consider how small a change this is from normal Kamikaze-Solo; you're replacing Root with Color Shift. (Flux/Root/Sanity Warp vs Flux/Shift/Sanity Warp) You still keep Root memorized, and if you decide you've taken too much damage for one fight, then just Root the mob and step out. Your nearly undamaged pet can finish off the mob with ease, and if you don't think you've outraced Mr. Kamikaze, just Sanity Warp again. The reason I am so in love with this technique is also spell slots. Tashani, Color Flux, Color Shift, Sanity Warp, and Root. That leaves three more slots open, which is beautiful. I keep Enthrall, Memory Blur, and Quicken usually. Bear in mind that if you get in trouble and lose control of the fight, Root the mob and back out, and if the pet dies, back out of aggro range and Memory Blur. You don't have to Mesmerize first. Root doesn't cause aggro after it first lands.
Take the tools you have been given, and move to your next major level of upgrades in the Seventh Circle!