A Mage is a powerful casting class capable to do immense amounts of damage and control the enemies.
While using Arcane, Fire and Frost a Mage is definitely one of the best damage dealing classes in WoW. Mages are known to do great Area of Effect (AoE) damage with several great abilities and be able to control both enemy NPCs and players with Polymorph, Frost Nova and the like.
The downside of a Mage is that one usually has low hit points and his cloth armor doesn’t help with his survivability. He does have spells to keep enemies at bay though or to cast an Ice Block which makes the Mage immune to any damage for a period of time.
A mage is incapable to heal or tank so damage dealing is his main purpose. The Mage does have other abilities that make him wanted in many groups and PvP teams. Like said before, the Polymorph ability is great to control mobs because it turns a Humanoid or Beast enemy NPC or Player into a Sheep, Turtle, or Pig. A Mage can also teleport to other cities and even make portals so others can benefit from his ability. Another reason why a Mage is always welcome in a group is his ability to conjure food and water which is especially welcomed by healers that otherwise would have to buy their mana drinks.
These abilities also come in very handy while leveling. Being able to teleport will save a lot of time on the long run and making food and drinks whenever one pleases is also a time and money saver.
The Mage can also buff himself with Arcane Intellect and has several magical armors he can choose from. He can also cast Arcane Intellect on his party or even entire raids.
One nice thing that is nice to know is that Dalaran, the capital of Northrend, is a Mage city. The Kirin Tor is a faction of Mages and all the Mage players start with Friendly reputation towards this faction.
The Mage class can be played by Gnomes, Draenei, Humans, Trolls, Blood Elves, and Undead players.
Mages have three talent builds namely Arcane, Frost and Fire. You will run into mages that have specialized in any of these talent trees because they all have pros and cons. It is up to your own preferences to whatever build you would like. I would advise you, if you intend to make a Mage, to try out several builds to see what you like best and not just follow anybody else’s opinion.
I can tell you though that the Frost Build is quite nice to level because it doesn’t burn your mana away that fast and you have several nice abilities like the Water Elemental and Ice Barrier which absorbs damage. At 80 this build is still nice and can be seen quite often in PvP.
Then there is the Fire build which focuses mainly on single target damage, even though also two AoE spells become available in this tree.
It was never really worth it to go 100% Arcane until the WoTLK arrived. With some new talents and a bigger variety of damaging attacks this build has become a lot better and is now also a great build for PvE and PvP. Arcane is also often used for Hybrid builds (Frost/Arcane, Fire/Arcane).
As a Mage you have some great advantages while leveling. Of course, many classes have their pros and cons but a Mage is great to level because he can make his own food and water, teleport to cities from one to another continent and is able to Blink which also reduces run-time. As for the best leveling build, the opinions are divided. Some would swear with the Frost build because it is more mana efficient. I however, would go for a Fire/Arcane build for the simple reason that you take down the enemies faster and the Arcane tree will provide you with mana regeneration and more stats.
Lets first have a look at the full Fire talent tree though.
As a Fire Mage you can start attacking with either a Fireball or a Pyroblast, shoot a 2nd Fireball and then a Fire Blast. If the target isn’t dead yet you just Frost Nova, take a step back and make another Fireball+Fire Blast combo. Blast Wave and Dragon Breath will also become available at a later level and they can do the finishing touches as well.
Now why I didn’t take Improved Scorch is because you don’t use Scorch until you get the Hot Streak talent. Molten Shields, Fiery Payback and Blazing Speed are not necessary for leveling purposes. I did choose Impact (I know many Mages skip this one) because it’s nice for leveling. If you manage to use three or four Fire based spells before the mob reaches you, you have a 30-40% chance to stun the mob for two seconds before he even reaches you.
I took a bit of Frost because of the reduced mana cost of both Frost and Fire spells through the talent called Precision.
Another option, and my favorite, is to go Arcane+Fire which is a nice combination.
This build has a mana preserving advantage because 60% of the regeneration continues while casting. You will also be surprised with the amount of critical hits you will get with this build which will also refund 30% of the spell’s costs. You will also have 10% more Spirit and 15% more Intellect. Arcane Concentration will allow about 10% of your spells to be cast free of costs.
This build will not give you AoE spells likes Blast Wave and Dragon Breath but will be mainly focused on Fireballs, Pyroblasts and Fire Blasts. Your Arcane Explosion will be boosted a bit so that is a good choice for AoE purposes. Presence of Mind and Arcane Power will give you two extra great abilities that will cause high burst damage when needed.
You can choose to go full Frost but especially in the first 30 levels you will be a lot worse of than the builds stated above. Shatter then becomes nice, and later you got Icy Veins, Water Elemental, Cold Snap etc. but the damage output of this build isn’t as high as compared to the ones above.
The majority of the changes in Cataclysm for mages as occurred in fire mage builds. In this post we will review these changes to Fire Mage Builds and give you some tips and ideas for how to better use these new talents and abilities.
Changes to Fire Mage Builds, Talents and Abilities
One of the first changes we will look at is with Burning Soul. This talent now works for all spells and not just fire spells which is really cool.
The next talent that has been changed is Impact. Impact now in addition to being a Fire Blast stun it has an additional ability that spreads your fire DoTs (damage over time effects) to nearby target (12 yards). It can be a little difficult to time it right, but you can get some great additional damage without any mana cost.
Blast Wave has been changed. It doesn’t radiate out directly from your mage anymore, instead you target an area like any other AOE spell. Other than that the talent is exactly the same.
One of the coolest new changes that has occurred in the fire spec talent tree is with Improved Scorch. This talent reduces the mana cost of Scorch by 100%. This is incredible! This gives you free scorches at your disposal.
Another great spell that works in conjunction with Improved Scorch to really hit it home is Firestarter. Firestarter allows your Molten Armor to cast the Scorch spell while moving. This is a PVP dream come true!!
So to use these two talents together and do some serious damage, hove your Molten Armor buff on which will then allow you to spam Scorch on your target forever! You still have the keep your target in front of you but you can strafe and run while Scorching and totally pwn your enemies!
Now all this coolness doesn’t come without a penalty. Firestarter does take away from your Molten Armor the chance to critically hit but replaces it with the ability to cast scorch while moving.
We highly recommend you get both of the talents as part of your Fire Mage Build as early as you can. I’m sure you will come up with really crazy ways to use these two new talents.
Next up in changes to Fire Mage Builds is Cauterize which is mainly a PVP talent. This is another spell that may be difficult to time just right. But basically what it does is, if you know your going die (similar to a Rogue with Cheat Death), you can cast this and it will give you a last minute health boost (6 secs to live) to allow you to possibly finish off your enemy before you die. You could still get healed and live, but if your gonna die, die with your boots on!!
Another changed talent is Combustion. Its actually completely different and does not have the same effect as before. What Combustion now does is takes all of your DoT’s (damage over time effects) and turns them a single effect. This then allows you to reapply all of your DoT’s to give your double the damage! This makes for a great addition to your rotation for Bosses or Raid Mobs. The only draw back to this talent is that is has a long cool down – 2 minutes, so plan how you use this ability carefully.
Hot Streak is basically the same spell as its always been, giving you a chance for a free Pryoblast instant cast, but what Blizzard changed was that it now procs on a percentage basis which makes it kind of random. So if you get 1 crit there is a percentage that Pyroblast will proc. We haven’t seen what this percentage is either. This kind of sucks in my opinion because it makes it feel very random.
But if you combine this with Improved Hot Streak, it returns it back to its original functionality and will proc 100% of the time after 2 crits. So if your gonna to take Hot Streak, we recommend also getting Improved Hot Streak.
Also be aware that if you take Hot Streak will disable your Arcane Missiles just like Brain Freeze does in Frost.
Improved Flamestrike makes your Flamstrike instant all the time. But whats also cool about Improved Flamestrike is that it will automatically cast Flamestrike if your Blastwave hits more than one target. This is great if you happen to pull more than one mob or if you’re AOE grinding.
Also with Pyromaniac – if your fighting 3 or more mobs this talent gives you a buff that ups your haste by 10%
Critical Mass now gives your Living Bomb and Flame Orb 15% more damage and your Pyroblast and Scorch have 100% to make your target vulrnable to spell damage and increases your crit chance for that target by 5%. Basically this is the old version of Improved Scorch only now it works for Scorch and Pyroblast so this definitely a talent that you should always take. Besides it gives you 15% more damage on your Living Bomb and who doesn’t want more Living Bomb damage?!?!
Finally is Flame Orb, which is not a talent but a spell you learn from your trainer. It is essentially like Frostfire Orb accept it does not slow. It’s still very cool as you can freeze your target in place and cast this and let it do damage to your target. Fire and Forget. Love it!
And Thats it for changes to Fire Mage Builds! For the complete break down of the Fire Mage Build and the talent tree we have added our recommended build below.
What build did you make for your mage? Any suggestions? Leave a comment below and let us know about your fire mage builds.
Changes to Frost Mage Builds, Talents and Abilities
There has been a few changes to Frost Mage Builds that we want to review in this article. Some of these abilities and talents you already know, some have been changed, and two new talents have been added.
There is a new ability available in Frost now for mages called Ring of Frost which a pretty cool new spell.
Ring of Frost is an awesome little AOE spell that you get at 83. This ability gives you an AEO cast in front of your mob to have them walk through it to be slowed as you DPS them to death! RoF will also do some damage while mobs are standing in the Frost. One last thing about Ring of Frost is that it only has a 1 minute cool down, so you can use it fairly often to slow mobs while you do your damage.
This ability is pretty powerful and has a lot of applications…it is great for PVP or leveling when you need to good AOE slow.
Frost Mage Talent Tree
The Frost Mage talent tree has been change a little. Shatter has been changed a bit. It is still the same spell however instead having a set percentage it now has a multiplier to your crit. I think Blizzard primarily made this change so that the talent might scale better as you get better gear.
Other changes are with Improved Cone of Cold.
Your Cone of Cold will now also freeze your target for 4 secs. This basically is giving you a second Frost Nova which is pretty awesome.
Permafrost now reduces healing received by a target by 10%. This is a little like the Warriors Mortal Strike it seems.
Early Frost allows your first Frost bolt to cast faster that your subsequent Frost Bolt spells.
The next talent we are going to look at is Improved Freeze. This cool little talent gives some love to your Water Elemental. with Improved Freeze your Water Elemental’s Freeze spell gets 100% chance to grant two charges of Fingers of Frost.
Brain Freeze is not from 7-11 but it has changed a bit so lets check it out. It’s an interesting talent that similar to Hot Streak in Fire that actually replaces Arcane missiles now.
If you take Brain Freeze it will disable and replace Arcane Missiles, so keep that in mind!
With Brain freeze you get a 15% chance to give you an instant cast Fireball or Frostfire Bolt. So as you can see it’s a lot like Hot Streak from the Fire Mage Build. And the cool thing is that its a free cast, no mana cost to use it!
If you decide not to get Brain Freeze because you want to keep your Arcane Missiles, you might want to look at trying to add Improved Arcane Missiles if you have the points to put in your Arcane tree. Play with it to see what you like best.
New Talents to Frost Mage Builds
There are two new talents that you need to get familiar with. Reactive Barrier and Frost First Orb.
For Reactive Barrier – Gives your Ice Barrier 100% chance to auto cast if your health drops below 50%. Depending on your play style this could be a waste of talent points as you can simply cast Ice Barrier yourself. But if you’re new or you would just like to have this protection automatically kick in, then this might be for you. It does cast without any mana cost which is a cool thing, and if you’ve used Ice Barrier you know it’s a pretty big mana drain.
The other new talent that was added is Frost Fire Orb. It’s essentially gives your Flame Orb ability some additional slowing effects which can be really handy. The best way to use this is to fire it at your target and then freeze your target so they can’t get away from it. Simply Fire and Forget!
And thats about it for the Changes to the Frost Mage Builds and Talent trees. For a full Frost Mage Build to level 85 in Cataclysm we’ve put together the follow recommended Mage Build that works great!
What build did you make for your mage? Any suggestions? Leave a comment below and let us know what your frost mage build is like.
Changes to Arcane Mage Builds, Talents and Abilities
Now that Cataclym is released we are going to go over Arcane Mage Builds. There hasn’t been too many changes with the Arcane spec with exception of Arcane missiles. Arcane missiles is no longer a spell you can cast any time you feel like. Instead it procs when casting other spells. The good news with Arcane missiles is that there is no mana cost for using it! So as soon as it proc you get a free cast.
For example if you start combat with say a fire blast or any other spell you have about a 40% chance that Arcane missiles will proc.
The Arcane Talent Tree
Of all the mage talent trees, Arcane has probably changed the least. Which is good news if you love the way the Arcane talent tree was laid out.
There only two changes to occur within the Arcane tree.
Nether Vortex – Which gives your Arcane Blast spell a 50% chance to slow any target it damages
This is really as it saves you a global cool down and could also be used in PVP (though you may not be using Arcane Blast much in PVP)
The second change was with Improved Polymorph – Which stuns a polymorphed target for 3 secs if that target takes damage.
So for example, if you have polymorphed a mod, and that mob takes any kind of damage that will pull it out of polymorph, that target is stunned for 3 secs (rank 2 – 1.5 secs for rank 1). Which is a pretty cool new feature.
An Arcane Mage Build is a great build for leveling and grinding. You may even find it great for doing some PVP action.
If you have any comments about Arcane Mage Builds or would like to share your build and what you like about the arcane spec, leave a comment below!