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Mage Strategy





The Mage


Dabbling with the raw power of the elements, the Mage is a force to be reckoned with. If you enjoy the idea of "the glass cannon"; a lot of offensive power at the expense of being very weak defensively, then the mage is for you. However, controlling these elements, instead of them controlling you, is something this guide will teach you. With this information you will be able to reach the heights that Dalaran Mages once mastered.

Mages are the ranged damage-dealing, and area of effect class. The primary role for a mage is dealing large amounts of damage to single or multiple monsters. The mage is also there for crowd control with polymorph, one of the best spells in the game. The secondary roles of a mage are to make food and water for other party members and to teleport party members to the major faction cities with the portal spell.




Basic Mage Information

Allowed races: Human, Gnome, Troll, Undead

Standard Bars: Health/Mana

Equipment: Cloth

Weapons: Staves, Wands, Daggers (with training), 1-Handed Swords (with training)




Strengths
  • Powerful Area of Effect and Instant Cast Damage Spells
  • The ability to summon food and water
  • Can teleport to the major cities of your faction

Weaknesses
  • Limited to wearing only Cloth armor
  • Low armor and hit points means can be easily killed in close combat
  • Dependant on spells for main damage dealing, which means you are constrained to the amount of mana you have, and are susceptible to spell resists









Attributes

Every class has 5 attributes that make up their character. Each attribute helps each class differently. Let's look at how each of the stats affects Mages:

Strength: Adds to your Attack Power, Damage-Per-Second (DPS). Strength does not affect Critical Hit chances at all. Strength does not improve your chance to block, but rather the amount blocked when you succeed. This amount is determined in part by Strength (and the other part by your shield).

Strength has very little importance for a mage and should be your #5 attribute. Only in very rare situation should a mage ever engage in close combat, so having more strength to fight with a melee weapon would be hardly beneficial.

Stamina: Increases Health points.

Stamina is the #2 attribute for mages on a PvP server. Health is very important in large scale and individual PvP. Whether you engage in PvP or not, having more health will always help you survive a little bit longer. If you do not place it as your #2 attribute then its best as your #3.

Intellect: Increases Mana points as well as chance to Critical Hit with magic spells. Intellect also grants a higher chance to increase melee skills. (It does not affect trade skills though.)

Intellect is the #1 attribute for Mages. This spell increases your overall mana pool, which means you will be able to cast more spells and cause more damage. It also raises the chance that you will get a critical strike with your spell.

Spirit: Increases Health and Mana regeneration. Spirit affects all characters' mana and Hit Point regeneration rates in and out of combat. Spirit also increases your chance to 'proc' with weapons.

Spirit is usually considered the #3 attribute for mages, however some people placed it at #2. What you decide is a matter of preference. For people on a PvE server, a lot of health is usually not needed, so they tend to choose spirit as their second attribute to focus. This will increase your mana and health regeneration when you are out of combat. If you are using the new mage armor that allows you to regenerate mana during combat, or if you have the mana regeneration during combat talent, then spirit will help you with mana efficiency during instance dungeons.

Agility: Increases all characters' chance to Critical Hit. The amount of the bonus is higher per point on Rogues than other classes. Agility affects dodge. Rogues get more Dodge per point of Agility than other classes. Agility adds directly to Defense

Agility is the number #4 attribute for a mage. The main purpose for agility is to raise your melee critical strike and dodge ability. Having a higher dodge is nice if you are forced into close combat, but generally you should be far away from the close combat, and so it is not as important to increase. Since a mage rarely will use his melee weapon, increasing your critical strike chance with it has very little effect, and so it to is not really needed.




Mage Skills

The mage has three talent trees dealing with the three schools of magic: Fire, Ice, and Arcane.

Fire is the primary damage dealing and offensive school of magic. This school will allow you to do tons of damage up front for lots of mana. The general goal of Fire is to do so much damage from afar that by the time the mob gets close to you, he is dead, or can easily be killed off.

The Frost school is mainly about slowing down or "kiting" the mob and defense. Since the mob is slowed, you will be able to throw more spells at it so that it should be dead or nearly dead when it gets close to you. Frost also provides some good defensive abilities if the mob gets to close to you.

Arcane is the final school and is a good compliment to Frost and Fire, as well as having some good utility. The Arcane school has the best crowd control spell, polymorph, and some good AOE and damage spells. These spells are usually not the best in mana efficiency, but will come in handy in specific situations.


Arcane Skills


Polymorph
Polymorph is one of the most powerful spells in the game. This spell gives you the ability to turn a humanoid or beast into a sheep, allowing you time to do something else. This is one of the best crowd control spells in the game and will be used often. In PvP, this spell is also good for pulling people off their mounts. If you polymorph someone on their mount, they will be dismounted and turned into a sheep.

Mage Armor
Mage armor was just recently added, and this new shield allows you to regenerate 30% of your mana while in combat, as well as raise your resistances to all schools of magic. This spell does not stack with Ice Armor, so you must choose which one to put up. This armor is generated more for fighting against other casters. It is also useful in an instance where you won't be getting very close to combat.

Amplify Magic
This is a skill most Mages don't use, but it can be quite useful to slap on when you have a healer in the group and you are fighting mobs that don't use offensive spells. It increases all spell effects, including offensive and healing, so it can be useful or hurt you.

Dampen Magic
Opposite of Amplify Magic, Dampen Magic reduces magical effects. Good to use when you are facing a lot of Magic-using mobs. Note that any healing done to a target under this effect will receive reduced healing effects.

Detect Magic
Reveals any magical buffs on the enemy target.

Remove Lesser Curse
Another ability that isn't too used widely, Remove Lesser Curse is good for taking off annoying debuffs in instances and can be useful in PvP too. Watch your party members and try to use it once in a while. It helps.

Mana Shield
Mana shield is a shield that is useful when it tight situations. This spell is not very efficient in that for each point of physical damage you suffer, it takes 2 mana points away. This also does not protect you from enemy spells either. This spell is something that should not be used all the time, but rather saved till you are in dire need of it.

Arcane Missiles
This is your main damage spell for the arcane school. This spells starts off a channeling spell that can be interrupted, however with talents you can remove that chance to be interrupted. The non-interruptible talent is used by just about every mage because arcane missiles are pretty much worthless without it. This spell is great for instances because most mobs have very little arcane resist.

Arcane Intellect
Arcane Intellect is a 30 minute buff that directly increases your intellect. Intellect is an attribute that increases your mana pool and the rate at which weapon skill improve. This is a great buff to slap on *ANY* class that uses mana. You should *always* have this on if you're fighting.

Conjure Food
Conjures food that is tradable to party members. Mages are often asked to conjure food for others as it only costs them mana.

Conjure Water
Conjures water that is tradable to party members. Make sure to distribute water to anyone with mana in your party, since it's free and it helps with downtime.

Conjure Mana Stone
This spell changes it name at each new rank (Mana Agate, Citrine, Jade, Ruby). It is a conjured item that is soulbound and acts a potion that gives you mana instantly. You can only have 1 mana stone in your inventory at a time and it costs a lot of mana to conjure. Great for when you are in a pinch and need extra mana for a quick Frost Nova or polymorph.

Arcane Explosion
Arcane explosion is the AOE spell for the arcane school. This spell damages any mobs that are surrounding you up to 10 yards. Another useful talent allows you to make this spell, Arcane Explosion, instant cast (IAE). This is very handy for both PvP and PvE.

Presence of Mind (TALENTS)
Presence of Mind (POM) is made available through talents and allows any spell that is less than 10 seconds cast time to be an instant cast spell. This works great with spells like pyroblast because it has a 6 second cast time. This spell is also useful with polymorph because it allows you to quickly disable a player, where as before they could interrupt your polymorph.

Arcane Power (TALENTS)
Arcane power (AP) is generally called "God mode for 15 seconds". This spell raises your spells damage by 35% but also makes each spells cost 35% more mana. This spell should be reserved for tight situations where you need to do a lot of damage really quick. A good combo is AP, POM, Pyroblast, and then follow with IAE.

Arcane Brilliance
Arcane Brilliance is a skill acquired through a drop called the 'Tome of Arcane Brilliance'. This skill is in essence an Area-of-Effect version of Arcane Intellect. However, this ability adds slightly more intellect and lasts an hour, twice the normal time than a regular Arcane Intellect buff. Casting Arcane Brilliance requires a reagent, so most likely Mages will save it for instances and raids.





Frost Skills

This spell is the main arsenal of the frost school. This spell is a good starter, no matter what talent tree you focus on, because it will slow the mob so that you have more time to cast spells on the incoming mob. Although this spell may not have the damage of other schools, its slowing ability is very useful.
Frostbolt
This is another important spell that will be constantly used. The damage this spell does is very minimal; however the ability to lock down group of enemies for 8 seconds is very powerful. The damage is so small, that it usually doesn't warrant getting the higher level version of this spell. The only difference between the low level and high level versions of this spell is the initial damage done to targets; the freezing time or chance to freeze is no greater or less.
Frost Nova
This armor is a great armor for facing melee mobs. If hit, the mob will have its move and attack speed slowed. This does not stack with mage armor, so you will not be able to use both at the same time. This armor is great for soloing and for PvP as it can allow you to get out of tight situations with the slowing ability. Also with talents, you can make it so this armor will have a chance to actually root the mob or player that hits you, which is like a free frost nova. (NOTE: Frost Armor is the lower-level version of Ice Armor)
Ice Armor
Frost Ward will absorb frost damage dealt to the Mage. This can be used against mobs that tend to cast frost nova or frostbolt, or against a frost-specced Mage. Cannot be used at the same time as Fire Ward.
Frost Ward
This is a great ability that does mediocre damage while slowing down your opponent. CoC is great for snaring a melee enemy while hitting him for a decent amount of damage. CoC launches a cone of frost magic which damages and slows your target.
Cone of Cold
Blizzard is the big AOE spell for the frost tree. Of all the Mage AOE, this one covers the greatest area. This AOE also slows any mobs it hits in its area. This spell is great for large numbers of mobs that you need to slow or for large scale PvP. With talents, you can also make it so that this spell has a chance to root anyone in its area.
Blizzard
Ice Block is the ultimate spell in the frost tree. This is a shield that encases you in a block of ice preventing all damage from being done to you for 10 seconds. During this time you cannot attack, move, or attack with spells. This spell is good if you are about to die, to give your teammates a chance to pull the mob from you, or to kill the mob for good.
Ice Block (TALENTS)
Ice barrier is another shield spell for the mage. This spell absorbs all damage done to you. This can be very useful against enemy players or mobs that put DOTs on you that you cannot remove. This shield will absorb damage that won't take away from mana, unlike mana shield.
Ice Barrier (TALENTS)





Fire Skills


Fireball
This is the main damage spell for the fire school. This is one of the most powerful direct damage spells and leaves a small DOT on the mob or player you hit to hit them with extra damage.

Fireblast
Fireblast is a good finisher move for the mage. This spell is an instant cast spell, so it can be used quickly to finish off a mob that has low health.

Scorch
Scorch is a very mana efficient spell in the fire tree. This spell has a lower cast time and damage, but uses very little mana. If you buff this spell up with talents, and repeatedly cast this spell, you can do quite a bit of damage.

Flamestrike
This is the AOE spell for the fire tree. The area it covers is smaller than blizzard, but makes up with it with much more damage. The mob or enemy player is hit first with a strong direct damage then followed by a DOT that does even more damage. This is one of the most powerful AOEs in the game.

Fire Ward
This is a shield buff (stacks with Ice/Frost/Mage Armor) that will absorb any fire damage you take. Fire Ward is a great ability that most Mages will slap onto themselves when fighting Fire Elementals, mobs with a fire-nuke or DOT (Immolation comes to mind) or an enemy Mage. Cannot be on at the same time as Frost Ward.

Blastwave (TALENTS)
Blastwave is an AOE fire spell similar to frost nova in the fire school. It is only made available with talents. This spell also has a daze ability that dazes an enemy for 6 seconds.

Pyroblast (TALENTS)
Pyroblast is like an upgraded fireball with a large DOT attached to it. This spells does a large amount of damage up front, then continues to damage the mob for 12 seconds. The drawback to this spell is that it takes 6 seconds to cast it. Many times this spell is coupled with POM which makes it an instant cast, or Combustion, which gives it a 100% chance to critical strike.





Opening/Starting a Fight and Combat

Usually the two opener spells for the mage is either Pyroblast, Fireball, or Frostbolt. Pyroblast or Fireball are bother good openers because they do a lot of damage, and have a small DOT that will damage them as they run towards you. Frostbolt can also be a good starting move because it will slow the target coming towards you so that you have more time to cast spells at it. As far as finisher, fireblast, cone of cold, or scorch are best to finish. Fireblast and cone of cold are both instant casts that can quickly finish off a monster. Scorch is very mana efficient and with a short cast time, can be used quickly. For AOE, it depends mainly on your talents and the situation. It's usually best to use the AOE that you have invested the most talents in. Instant Cast Arcane Explosion is generally considered a standard for a mage to have. There are a few instance dungeons where this really comes in handy. I have even seen mages turned down from parties because they didn't have this. Despite the importance a lot of people place on it, I do not think it is completely necessary and other AOEs can be used in its place.




Talent Builds You can build your Talents in numerous ways. Here are some samples of builds others have used to some success.

~Arcane/Fire - General~

Arcane Talents (31 points)
Improved Arcane Missiles - 5/5 points
Gives you a 100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting Arcane Missiles.

Arcane Focus - 4/5 points
Reduces the chance your opponent will resist your arcane spells by 8%.

Arcane Concentration - 5/5 points
Gives you a 10% chance to enter a clearcasting state after any damage spell hits a target. When in a clearcasting state, your next damage spell will cost no mana.

Evocation - 1/1 point
When this spell is channeled, your mana regeneration is increased by 1500%. Lasts 8 seconds.

Improved Arcane Explosion - 5/5 points
Reduces the cast time of Arcane Explosion by 1.5 seconds, making it an instant-cast spell.

Improved Counterspell - 2/2 points
Gives you a 100% chance to silence the target for 4 seconds.

Arcane Mind - 4/4 points
Increases your max. mana by 8%.

Presence of Mind - 1/1 point
Your next spell with a casting time of under 10 seconds is cast instantly.

Arcane Instability - 3/3 points
Increases your spell damage and critical strike chance by 3%.

Arcane Power - 1/1 point
When activated, this spell increases damage done by spells by 35%, but makes your spells cost 35% more mana. Lasts 15 seconds.


Fire Talents (20 points)
Improved Fireball - 5/5 points
Reduces the casting time of your fireball by 0.5 seconds.

Impact - 5/5 points
Gives your fire spells a 10% chance to stun the target for 2 seconds.

Ignite - 5/5 points
Your critical strikes from fire damage spells cause your target to burn for an additional 40% of your spell's damage over 4 seconds.

Flame Throwing - 2/2 points
Increases the range of your fire spells by 6 yards.

Pyroblast - 1/1 point
This spell is an upgraded form of fireball, dealing more damage and leaving a more powerful damage-over-time after hitting the target. Has a 1 minute cooldown and 6 second cast time.

Incinerate - 2/2 points
Increases the critical strike chance of your Ignite and Fire Blast spells by 4%.



~Frost/Arcane - General~

Arcane Talents (18 points)
Improved Arcane Missiles - 5/5 points
Gives you a 100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting Arcane Missiles.

Arcane Concentration - 5/5 points
Gives you a 10% chance to enter a clearcasting state after any damage spell hits a target. When in a clearcasting state, your next damage spell will cost no mana.

Evocation - 1/1 point
When this spell is channeled, your mana regeneration is increased by 1500%. Lasts 8 seconds.

Improved Arcane Explosion - 5/5 points
Reduces the cast time of Arcane Explosion by 1.5 seconds, making it an instant-cast spell.

Improved Counterspell - 2/2 points
Gives you a 100% chance to silence the target for 4 seconds.


Frost Talents (33 points)
Improved Frostbolt - 5/5 points
Reduces the cast time of your frostbolt by 0.5 seconds.

Improved Frost Nova - 2/2 points
Reduces the cooldown of Frost Nova by 4 seconds.

Ice Shards - 5/5 points
Increases the critical damage bonus of your frost spells by 100%.

Improved Blizzard - 3/3 points
Adds a chill effect to Blizzard, slowing targets down to 25% of normal for 4.5 seconds.

Cold Snap - 1/1 point
When used, Cold Snap resets all cooldown timers on frost spells.

Shatter - 5/5 points
Increases the critical strike chance against frozen targets by 50%.

Arctic Reach - 2/2 points
Increases the range of your frostbolt spell and radius of your Cone of Cold and Frost Nova spells by 20%.

Improved Cone of Cold - 3/3 points
Increases the damage dealt by your Cone of Cold spell by 35%.

Ice Block - 1/1 point
You become encased in a block of ice, preventing any physical damage or spells from hitting you, but you cannot cast spells or move during this time. Lasts 10 seconds.

Frostbite - 5/5 points
Gives your chill effects a 15% chance to freeze a target.

Ice Barrier - 1/1 point
When active, Ice Barrier absorbs damage that scales with each rank learned. Spells are not interrupted while this shield is up.

~Arcane/Fire Critical Strike Build~

Arcane Talents (28 points)
Improved Arcane Missiles - 5/5 points
Gives you a 100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting Arcane Missiles.

Arcane Focus - 2/5 points
Reduces the chance your opponent will resist your arcane spells by 8%

Arcane Concentration - 5/5 points
Gives you a 10% chance to enter a clearcasting state after any damage spell hits a target. When in a clearcasting state, your next damage spell will cost no mana.

Evocation - 1/1 point
When this spell is channeled, your mana regeneration is increased by 1500%. Lasts 8 seconds.

Improved Arcane Explosion - 5/5 points
Reduces the cast time of Arcane Explosion by 1.5 seconds, making it an instant-cast spell.

Improved Counterspell - 2/2 points
Gives you a 100% chance to silence the target for 4 seconds.

Arcane Mind - 4/4 points
Increases your max. mana by 8%.

Presence of Mind - 1/1 point
Your next spell with a casting time of under 10 seconds is cast instantly.

Arcane Instability - 3/3 points
Increases your spell damage and critical strike chance by 3%.


Fire Talents (23 points)
Improved Fireball - 5/5 points
Reduces the casting time of your fireball by 0.5 seconds.

Impact - 5/5 points
Gives your fire spells a 10% chance to stun the target for 2 seconds.

Flame Throwing - 2/2 points
Increases the range of your fire spells by 6 yards.

Ignite - 5/5 points
Your critical strikes from fire damage spells cause your target to burn for an additional 40% of your spell's damage over 4 seconds.

Pyroblast - 1/1 point
This spell is an upgraded form of fireball, dealing more damage and leaving a more powerful damage-over-time after hitting the target. Has a 1 minute cooldown and 6 second cast time.

Incinerate - 2/2 points
Increases the critical strike chance of your Ignite and Fire Blast spells by 4%.

Critical Mass - 3/3 points
Increases the critical strike chance of your fire spells by 6%.

~PvE Raiding Build~

Arcane Talents (25 points)
Improved Arcane Missiles - 5/5 points
Gives you a 100% chance to avoid interruption caused by damage while casting Arcane Missiles.

Arcane Concentration - 5/5 points
Gives you a 10% chance to enter a clearcasting state after any damage spell hits a target. When in a clearcasting state, your next damage spell will cost no mana.

Evocation - 1/1 point
When this spell is channeled, your mana regeneration is increased by 1500%. Lasts 8 seconds.

Improved Arcane Explosion - 5/5 points
Reduces the cast time of Arcane Explosion by 1.5 seconds, making it an instant-cast spell.

Arcane Meditation - 5/5 points
Allows 15% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.

Arcane Mind - 4/4 points
Increases your max. mana by 8%.


Frost Talents (26 points)
Improved Frostbolt - 5/5 points
Reduces the cast time of your frostbolt by 0.5 seconds.

Ice Shards - 5/5 points
Increases the critical damage bonus of your frost spells by 100%.

Improved Frost Nova - 2/2 points
Reduces the cooldown of Frost Nova by 4 seconds.

Winter's Chill - 2/3 points
Increases the power of your chill effects by slowing the enemy down an additional 7%.

Cold Snap - 1/1 point
When used, Cold Snap resets all cooldown timers on frost spells.

Shatter - 5/5 points
Increases the critical strike chance against frozen targets by 50%.

Frost Channeling - 3/3 points
Reduces the mana cost of your frost spells by 15%.

Arctic Reach - 2/2 points
Increases the range of your frostbolt spell and radius of your Cone of Cold and Frost Nova spells by 20%.

Ice Block - 1/1 point
You become encased in a block of ice, preventing any physical damage or spells from hitting you, but you cannot cast spells or move during this time. Lasts 10 seconds.







Tips on Talents

The major talent builds are usually Fire/Arcane or Frost/Arcane. The Arcane talents provide such great utility that it is very hard to play a mage without some of these talents. That is why they are usually grouped together with frost and fire. In most cases, Frost or Fire is the dominate talent with the rest in arcane, however some people prefer most in arcane and the rest in either fire or frost. Frost and Fire is not very viable because you lose all the utility of arcane. Trying to go all three trees is also bad because it leaves you spread too thin and you cannot reach the upper tiers of any of the trees, which have some of the best spells.




Glossary of Terms

  • Mob - Also known as monster, this is any hostile non-player character.
  • Kiting - Slowing down or immobilizing a mob so that more time is allowed to damage it before it gets close enough to attack the player.
  • AOE - Area of Effect, damage is dealt to a specific area that is either around the caster, or defined by the caster.
  • DOT - Damage over Time.
  • POM - Presence of Mind.
  • AP - Arcane Power.
  • IAE - Instant cast Arcane Explosion.





Researched by Shotty.
Written by Mogrin.
Exclusive custom art by Xmetallium.



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