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WoW Class Guide: Mage

by: RejectionKing ; edited by: M.S. Smith ; updated: 4/18/2012 • Leave a comment

A class guide for mages in the online game World of Warcraft.

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    World of Warcraft Mage Class Guide: Introduction/Levels 1-19

    The mage class in World of Warcraft is considered a "glass cannon," for the class's ability to generate a great amount of damage but at the cost of having relatively low armor and health points. The mage has three talent trees from which to choose from: fire, ice, and arcane. The fire and ice tree maximizes the damage caused by fire and ice spells, respectively. The arcane tree is, generally, for utility purposes; buffing the mage and his/her spells. For the most part damaging arcane spells are mixed in with the main talent build, fire or frost, that the player chooses.

    The three different talent trees also affect the way a mage plays. Both fire and frost have individual focused spells but fire's focus is generally on creating a lot of damage both in terms of up front damage but also damage over time on a single target. This is the most important thing to realize about the fire build, it has very few area of effect (AOE) spells but a lot of high damage single target spells. Furthermore the fire build provides very little in terms of controlling your enemy, whether it is a pvp or pve situation save for a few short lasting dazes, stuns, and disorients. The frost build on the other hand emphasizes AOE spells and rooting/snaring the enemy. Rooting the enemy involves freezing them in their place and a snare slows them down. Ultimately though the frost mage sacrifices damage for their ability to root and snare the enemy. The arcane tree, as mentioned previously, really just provides utility and some damaging spells.

    For leveling I suggest going fire with some arcane mixed in. The rationale is, when leveling, you will be spending most of your time in instances or grinding out quests, generally focusing on a single enemy at a time as opposed to situations that would merit a great deal of AOE and rooting/snaring. To put it generally, fire is for PVE, frost is for PVP and arcane buffs the other two trees.

    When you start playing and earning talent points, remember you want to maximize damage and shorten the amount of time it takes to inflict damage. The first eight or so talent points you invest should go into Incineration and Improved Fireball. These talents increase your ability to crit and shortens the casting time for fireball. Then on the second tier of talents go for Ignite. This talent adds a debuff to the enemy every time the player scores a crit on them. It inflicts an additional 8% to 40% damage, depending on the amount of talents points invested in it.