A few people have seen me use Evocation during Battlegrounds after I am oom, or even in Ironforge after conjuring up some food for someone. They would ask:
“Why do you switch weapons for Evocation? They changed it from Spirit base to a % of your total mana!”.
I link them my Evoc weapons and most of the time I get a response of, “Oooh… I see, thanks!” other times it is a, “WTF you n00b! Why would you enchant it with Intellect!?”. Sometimes I explain, sometimes I don’t even bother. Depends on the mood I’m in I guess, or if they leave out the “WTF you n00b!” part. Well here it goes…
Before Patch 2.3, Evocation used to return mana based on how much Spirit you had. This gave a few Mages the idea of carrying around a Spirit Staff and Wand to switch to during Evocation. In Patch 2.3, Blizzard changed it so that Evocation now gave you a percentage of your total Mana. No more need to carry Spirit weapons. Now you need to carry Intellect weapons!
Why Intellect? Now that it is based off your total mana, by increasing your total mana before you use Evocation, the more mana you will receive.
Lets take a look at Evocation. While channeling this spell, you gain 60% of your total mana over 8 sec. Gain 15% of total mana every 2 sec.
That means if you are at 9,000 total mana, when you Evoc, you will gain 5,400 mana back. If you are at 10,000 total mana, you will gain 6,000 mana back.
What gives you more mana? Intellect of course. Each point of Intellect will give you 15 mana. So increasing your Intellect +50 by swapping out weapons, will give you 750 more mana.
My Intellect weapons: [Amani Divining Staff] with 3 x 8 Intellect Gems and +30 Intellect enchant, and [Vengeful Gladiator's Touch of Defeat]. They gave me +62 Intellect (930 mana) over my DPS weapons. You can use any weapon which has more Intellect than your DPS weapons.
We’ll use Utada in our example:
With the gear she is wearing, she is at 489 Intellect with a mana pool of 9,296. When she Evocs, she will gain ~1,389.3 mana a tick, for a total of 5,557.2 mana return.
If she swaps out to her Intellect weapons before using Evoc, she will have 10,226 total mana. She will gain 1,533.9 mana a tick, for a total of 6,135.6 mana return.
An increase of 578.4 mana, and that is only in Tier 2 gear! You will get even more with raid buffs, and Tier 6 bonus.
What if we did that with our current raiding gear with 2 Piece Tier 6 bonus? We would get an extra mana tick, giving us 75% of our total mana back.
Without swapping, she is at 581 Intellect, and 10,676 total mana. Evoc would yield 8,007 mana at 1,601.4 a tick. With Intellect swapping, she would be at 643 Intellect with 11,606 total mana. Evoc will give 1,740.9 a tick, returning 8,704.5 mana back. A 697.5 mana increase! Again, without raid buffs.
/castsequence reset=10 Amani Divining Staff, Vengeful Gladiator’s Touch of Defeat, Evocation;
/equip Tempest of Chaos
/equip Heart of the Pit
/equip Wand of the Demonsoul
Left click once to swap in the staff, left click again to swap in the wand, left click the third time to use Evocation. Right click after Evoc to re-equip your DPS weapons. Modify the macro to suit the gear that you currently have.
NOTE: When in combat, swapping weapons will put a 1.5 second Global Cooldown on all your spells. So there will be a delay after swapping in your wand before you can use Evocation. With that macro, you can just left click spam the button until you start using Evoc.
As you can see, carrying around an extra set of weapons will give you a big boost in mana return for Evocation, and is totally worth two extra inventory space. A mage with no mana is pretty much worthless in both PvE and PvP.
Again I apologize for the crappy video quality. You can download all 3 videos zipped together HERE. The quality is a little bit better and you can actually read some of the number values, but still pretty crappy.