mage dps (2)
  • Author: Nevermore
  • Date: February 25, 2024
  • Updated: February 29, 2024
  • Expansion: WoW Classic

Widely regarded as one of the best, if not the actual best DPS class in the entirety of WoW Classic, Mages generate an insane damage output while also providing a plethora of utility and crowd-control tools for their allies. They can provide Portals, Food, Water, and buffs to their allies while they are also able to Freeze most of their opponents or turn them into mindless and helpless critters by Polymorphing them. They are arguably known as one of the most potent Single-Target Damage Dealer classes in the entire game while also being regarded as the second-best AoE classes, with only Warlocks taking the lead.

The new Rune System introduced by the Season of Discovery further empowers existing Mage Specializations while also overhauling some of the old ones, making even Arcane Mage finally viable! Mages no longer spam either Frostbolt or Fireball, with their kits now receiving a plethora of different powerful options that diversify their rotations. This includes both never-before-seen exciting new abilities such as Living Flame & Arcane Surge and some old fan-favorite ones that were available during the TBC Era and WotLK era such as Ice Lance & Living Bomb.

Build Summary

The Mage Class now has three viable specializations that can be entirely viable in PvE encounters, each of them providing different playstyles, with each having its own drawbacks and strengths! Each specialization has its own flavor, with each bringing an entirely different mindset behind its gameplay.

Frost Mage

Known as one of the best specializations during the Classic era for both PvE and PvP, with a later shift towards PvP-only focus in the TBC era and WotLK era, the Frost build changes its playstyle from a one-button spam machine (Frostbolt) into a proc-based specialization. Thanks to the new Rune System, Frost Mages now have access to the Ice Lance, Spellfrost Bolt, and Frostfire Bolt spells while also having access to the Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze passive effects.

What this means for Frost Mages is that their entire playstyle now revolves around using either one of Frostbolt, Spellfrost Bolt or Frostfire Bolt as a filler spell until Brain Freeze and Fingers of Frost proc. This will be followed up by Ice Lance to consume one or two Fingers of Frost‘s stacks or Spellfrost Bolt/Frostfire Bolt depending on whichever you chose to consume the Brain Freeze proc. Since both effects can trigger at the same time, it’s optimal to consume 1 stack of Fingers of Frost on Ice Lance while consuming the other for either Spellfrost Bolt/Frostfire Bolt. Additionally, since Ice Lance can be used while moving, Frost Mage no longer has any more downtime whenever it’s forced to reposition, provided it doesn’t accidentally burn through all of its mana in the process.

Furthermore, the staple Frost Spell from the TBC era, Icy Veins, has also been added into the mix, granting Frost Mage and all other Mage specializations a very powerful cooldown. Since we don’t have to bother with maintaining any DoT effect on the target or micromanage any debuff on ourselves, we can fully focus on bursting our targets as much as possible, making use of every single Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze procs! Additionally, since we now have access to Cold Snap, we can extend Icy Veins durations up to 40 seconds by resetting its cooldown, making it a truly powerful burst cooldown.

Phase 2 also grants us access to a very powerful survivability tool, the Ice Barrier. It can be used to enhance your overall survivability during a raid and absorb decent chunks of damage to lessen the burden on your healers. Alternatively, it’s a great tool for solo farming if you wish to grind mobs and AoE farm them.

Phase 2 also grants us another powerful AoE tool, the Cone of Cold. The spell can be empowered by Shatter when using Frost Nova to deal massive damage. Since there are no other changes to our AoE capabilities, Blizzard remains a staple tool for any AoE encounter! Alternatively, you can use the Living Flame instead of Icy Veins as a very potent AoE tool besides your main AoE Frost spells.

Spell Priority List

  1. Cast Frostbolt (Main Spell)
  2. Cast Ice Lance (On Fingers of Frost proc)
  3. Cast Spellfrost Bolt/Frostfire Bolt (On Brain Freeze proc)
  4. Cast Icy Veins during the Burst Phase (Combined with Offensive Cooldowns)
  5. Cold Snap (When Icy Veins expires)

Fire Mage

Compared to Frost Mage, Fire Mage had a slightly more simple rotation in Phase 1, with its rotation changing to a proc-based rotation as well in Phase 2. Its play style now revolves around spamming Fireball, maintaining proper Improved Scorch stacks, upkeeping DoTs such as Ignite and Living Bomb, properly using Combustion, and finally, using Hot Streak procs efficiently. Unfortunately for us, the Fire Mage rotation becomes a bit more complicated in Phase 2, as there are multiple effects to keep track of. However, Fire Mage scales extremely well, bringing the best damage output possible.

Improved Scorch is the most important effect that you will want to maintain at all times during an encounter. Not only that it improves Fire Damage for all of your abilities, but it also improves the Fire Damage dealt by all of your allies. You should stack 5 stacks of Improved Scorch as fast as possible after the initial pre-pull Pyroblast.

Fireball will be your main filler spell, with any critical strike landed helping you maintain the Ignite effect. You can also trigger the Ignite effect by landing a critical strike with either Scorch, Fire Blast or Pyroblast. Besides serving as a main source for Ignite, Fireball will constitute the highest amount of your overall damage output, being especially spammed during Combustion. Fire Blast can be weaved in between your normal Fireball casts. The issue with Fire Blast is its high baseline mana cost, usually making it not worthwhile unless the encounter is short or if you have plenty of mana regeneration effects available. Ideally, you will want to use Fire Blast while you reposition, as spamming Fireball is more efficient.

Fire Mage now has four more effects in its kit, two that made their debut in the WotLK era, quickly becoming fan favorites (Living Bomb and Hot Streak) while the other ones are entirely new additions to the game (Living Flame and Spell Power). Living Bomb adds both a powerful Single-Target DoT in addition to the existing Ignite DoT from our arsenal and a massive AoE effect when the effect is either finished or dispelled. This spell should always be active on as many targets as possible and never refreshed before its duration ends! Ideally, you will want to always refresh it in every Single-Target encounter when it’s effect ends, and attempt to place it consistently on 2 or 3 targets in Cleave scenarios.

Living Flame is a new spell acquired through the Rune System, having potential in both AoE and Single-Target encounters. The spell should be always used on cooldown as it generates a consistently high damage output that is enhanced by talents such as Fire Power. The only issue with the spell is that it can’t generate critical strikes.

Hot Streak serves as the main component of your rotation in Phase 2, turning Pyroblast from an entirely situational, which was widely regarded as a simple pre-pull opener into a very potent offensive tool. The only issue with Hot Streak is that its buff can be hard to track, meaning that some addons will be required to create a visual notification for it. Consuming Hot Streak as fast as possible is one of the key components of playing a Fire Mage properly, as you will want to generate as many procs as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Combustion should only be used after you’ve applied 5 stacks of Improved Scorch. Ideally, you will want to combine it with other offensive cooldowns, such as the one from the epic helmet available in Phase 2. During Combustion, you will want to focus on spamming Fireball as much as possible, weaving in Pyroblast whenever Hot Streak procs.

Lastly, Spell Power is a simple buff to all of your critical strikes which you will want to acquire as fast as possible to enhance the entire build. Since we are so reliant on critical strikes, a raw 50% damage bonus enhancing effect for them makes Fire Mage a force to be truly reckoned with.

Spell Priority List

  1. Cast Pyroblast (Pre-Pull/On every Hot Streak proc)
  2. Cast Scorch (Until 5 stacks of Improved Scorch/Recast when Improved Scorch is about to expire)
  3. Cast Living Bomb (Once 5 stacks of Improved Scorch are applied/Refresh after the effect ends)
  4. Cast Fireball (Main Spell)
  5. Cast Combustion (Once 5 stacks of Improved Scorch are placed/When Offensive Cooldowns are available)
  6. Cast Fire Blast (while moving/weaved in between Fireball casts)

Arcane Mage

Arcane Mage is now finally viable in Classic, receiving multiple new powerful tools through the new Rune System added in the Season of Discovery. The most impactful change, and one that TBC era players will recognize, is the addition of Arcane Blast. This spell now acts as Arcane’s main filler spell, introducing a mana-management playstyle to the Arcane specialization. Whereas Frost Mage functions on procs and Fire Mage deals with DoT effects management, Arcane Mage’s gameplay revolves around managing Arcane Blast‘s stacks, with Arcane Missiles and Arcane Explosion being the only ways of removing them as a Damage Dealer.

The main issue with Arcane Mages is that they can easily reach an OoM state if they are not careful when casting Arcane Blast. Fortunately, unlike the TBC era’s counterpart of this ability, the cast time of the ability is not reduced. This brings some hope for Arcane Mages, as they can no longer force themselves into an OoM situation by being overzealous with a potential Arcane Blast spam.

Phase 2 has introduced two amazing new runes for Arcane Mages that heavily improve their overall performance, the Missile Barrage and Spell Power runes. While Spell Power acts as a simple buff that directly enhances your critical strike bonus damage by 50%, Missile Barrage adds an entirely new mechanic to Arcane Mage, allowing it to conserve its mana while also empowering its overall damage. Thanks to it, Arcane Mage can now use an empowered version of Arcane Missiles which can be cast faster while also consuming no mana in the process. The only downside is that the effect is based on a proc, meaning that it is entirely dependent on RNG.

Additionally, thanks to the new Phase 2 talents, we also gain access to a powerful offensive cooldown, Arcane Power, that should be used during the Burst Phase, depending on the encounter itself. Some encounters will require you to use Arcane Power as soon as the fight starts while others require you to preserve it until certain boss mechanics pass.

Additionally, Arcane Mages now benefit from two other new effects that aim to help them with their overall mana management. Enlightenment seeks to prevent us from being stuck in an OoM situation and add a 10% damage increase while over 70% mana whereas Arcane Surge acts as both a nuke spell and a mana regeneration tool. Arcane Surge has some interesting implications depending on how it is used. Ideally, you can cast the ability when you have a very small Mana Pool remaining and 4 Arcane Blast stacks for some amazing results.

However, even though Arcane Surge acts as both a nuke ability and a decently good mana regeneration tool, the reality is that Living Flame simply produces an overall better damage output while also having a lower cooldown.

Spell Priority List

  1. Arcane Blast (Main Spell)
  2. Arcane Missiles (On 4 Arcane Blast stacks/whenever Missile Barrage procs)
  3. Arcane Surge/Living Flame
  4. Cast Arcane Power during the Burst Phase (Combined with other Offensive Cooldowns)

Runes

Chest

Fingers of Frost

  • Gives your Chill effects a 15% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect, which treats your next 2 spells cast as if the target were Frozen. Lasts 15 sec.

The main benefit of this rune is enabling the proper use of the Ice Lance rune. This rune is specifically designed for the Frost Mage specialization, having absolutely no use for either Arcane or Fire Mage. We can assume that we will see other extraordinary runes that will become available with the higher-level brackets which will be tied to Fingers of Frost, as damage against frozen targets is the main identity of the Frost Mage specialization.

Given how strong Ice Lance is with the Fingers of Frost‘s rune effect, the stacks themselves should never be used for another one of the currently available spells! Not only that it would result in a momentary damage loss but it could also result in loss of time considering potentially newly generated Fingers of Frost stacks.

Burnout

  • Increases your spell critical strike chance with all spells by 15%, but your non-periodic spell critical strikes now have an additional mana cost of 1% of your base mana.

This rune is specifically designed for the Fire Mage specialization since it heavily relies on Critical Strike Chance, however, it proves itself to be great for Arcane Mage as well. As a Fire Mage, this rune plays directly into your Hot Streak rune, allowing you to land more Pyroblasts. Besides your main abilities, it will also enhance any Ignite effects. As an Arcane Mage, it doesn’t interact specifically with another rune or effect, however, it improves the Critical Strike Chance of all of your effects.

This rune would bring quite a powerful bonus for the Frost specialization since it also relies on big crits, however, it’s unusable for the Frost specialization since it shares the same slot with the Fingers of Frost rune.

Enlightenment

  • You deal 10% more damage while you have more than 70% mana. While below 30% mana, 10% of your mana regeneration continues while casting.

This rune mostly ties into the Arcane specialization, however, it may be used by other specializations as well. The main benefit of this rune is empowering Arcane’s mana management while also rewarding it with a 10% damage buff whenever it manages to maintain its mana at 70% or higher.

This rune has some serious implications if you properly manage to maintain your mana above 70%, however, that will often not be the case, especially as Arcane. You should consider burning your cooldowns as fast as possible during the initial part of the encounter if you have selected this rune to benefit as much as possible from its damage-enhancing effect. If not, you may simply regard this rune as an additional mana-regeneration tool.

Arcane Mages should use this rune for encounters that have a short to medium duration, as Burnout turns out to be overall better for long fights.

Gloves

Ice Lance

  • Deals 47 to 55 Frost damage to an enemy target. Causes triple damage against Frozen targets.

This rune’s primary role is to introduce a new core spell to the Frost Mage specialization. This iconic spell introduces a proc-based rotation for the Frost specialization, being directly tied to the Fingers of Frost rune. Without the Fingers of Frost, this spell’s damage would be inconsequential.

There is not much to say other than that you should use this spell whenever you have a proc available. Additionally, this spell is extraordinary for removing any downtime from repositioning, provided you don’t burn through your mana pool by doing so.

Living Bomb

  • The target becomes a Living Bomb, taking 290 Fire damage over 12 sec. After 12 sec or when the spell is dispelled, the target explodes dealing 146 Fire damage to all enemies 10 yards.

This rune’s primary role is to introduce a new core spell to the Fire Mage specialization. This iconic spell introduces both a Single-Target DoT and a direct-damage AoE effect. This rune allows us to finally have some consequential AoE potential as a Fire Mage, whereas the AoE scene was entirely dominated by Frost and Arcane mages before its arrival.

Additionally, since runes can be easily swapped during an encounter, Living Bomb can also be added to both the Arcane and Frost Mage’s kit as an additional powerful AoE tool. You must make sure to swap the runes again before engaging in any Single-Target encounter if you choose to do so as an Arcane Mage or a Frost Mage.

Arcane Blast

  • Blasts the target with energy, dealing 386 to 449 Arcane damage. Each time you cast Arcane Blast, the damage and healing of all other Arcane spells is increased by 15% and mana cost of Arcane Blast is increased by 175%. Effect stacks up to 4 times and lasts 6 sec or until any other Arcane damage or healing spell is cast.

The primary role of this rune is to introduce a filler spell to the Arcane specialization, allowing it to finally become viable in PvE. It brings a unique mana-management playstyle, providing a very high damage output in exchange for micro-intensive gameplay. This rune ties in directly to other similar Arcane runes such as Enlightenment and Arcane Surge.

Waist

Frostfire Bolt

  • Launches a bolt of frostfire at the enemy, causing 220 to 256 Frostfire damage, slowing movement speed by 50% and causing an additional 20 Frostfire damage over 12 seconds. This spell will be checked against the lower of the target’s Frost and Fire resists and counts as both Frost and Fire damage.

This rune adds a moderately powerful spell for both Fire Mage and Frost Mage which can be perfectly paired with Brain Freeze. Frostfire Bolt can be a decently good alternative to Hot Streak, especially if you have a very low mana pool. While its cast time is the same as Fireball’s cast time, its overall damage is slightly lower. This ability is far more valuable in PvP where it can be procced by low ranking Frost spells at a very low mana cost.

Hot Streak

  • Any time you score 2 non-periodic spell criticals in a row using Fireball, Fire Blast, Scorch, or Living Bomb, your next Pyroblast spell cast within 10 secs will be instant cast.

The primary role of this rune is to make Fire Mage dominate the PvE scene. Jokes aside, this rune empowers Fire Mage to an insane extent, allowing it to use efficiently, while also further emphasizing the Critical Strike Chance-reliant nature of the specialization. Depending on RNG and your overall Critical Strike Chance, Hot Streak can generate tremendous amounts of damage. The only downside of this rune is that its entirely RNG dependent, meaning that you can get very unlucky with it. Additionally, while it may be very useful in terms of damage output if it procs continously, it can lead to mana management issues if the Pyroblast casts are not critical strikes.

Missile Barrage

  • Gives your Arcane Blast a 40% chance, and your Fireball and Frostbolt spells a 20% chance to reduce the channeled duration of your next Arcane Missiles spell by 50%, reduce the mana cost by 100%, and missiles will fire every 0.5 secs.

This rune massively improves Arcane Mage’s play style, offering a solid quality-of-life improvement for Arcane Missiles. Thanks to this rune, Arcane Mage can now “weave” in Arcane Missiles between Arcane Blast casts much more efficiently, resulting in a massive damage output increase. While this rune is best suited for the Arcane Mage build, both Fire and Frost Mage builds can use it, although with a reduced efficiency. While the rune is average for Fire Mage and Frost Mage in PvE, it shines in PvP as it can easily dispatch enemies when it procs.

Spellfrost Bolt

  • Launches a bolt of spellfrost at the enemy, causing 173 to 202 Spellfrost damage and slowing movement speed by 50% for 12 secs. This spell will be checked against the lower of the target’s Frost and Arcane resists and counts as both Frost and Arcane damage.

This rune adds a convenient spell for both Arcane Mage and Frost Mage, allowing them to trigger multiple effects. Spellfrost Bolt can be used to trigger Brain Freeze for both Arcane Mage and Frost Mage while also providing Arcane Mage with a vital slow and Frost Mage with a reliant way of triggering Regeneration. The rune itself can be used in PvE, although its damage is lesser than both Frostbolt and Arcane Blast, making it far more useful during PvP encounters and for leveling.

Legs

Icy Veins

  • Hastens your spellcasting, increasing spell-casting speed by 20% and reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting by 100%. Lasts 20 sec.

This rune adds a very powerful cooldown that can be used by any of the Mage specializations. Since casting speed heavily impacts our damage output, all of the three Mage Specializations can heavily benefit from this rune. Arcane Mages should be careful with this rune, as it can indirectly cause an OoM situation from potential Arcane Blast spam.

Frost Mage has an additional benefit from selecting the Icy Veins, namely the fact that it can reset its cooldown during an encounter! Through Cold Snap, this rune truly becomes a force to be reckoned with, providing an insane 40 seconds of increased casting speed. The only thing you should ever think about while using this powerful effect is whether or not you will have enough mana to fully make use of it.

Living Flame

  • Summons a spellfire flame that moves toward the target, leaving a trail of spellfire. This trail deals 85 Spellfire damage every second to nearby enemies. Lasts 20 sec.

The primary role of this rune is to add a powerful AoE and Single-Target instant-cast tool for the Fire Mage specialization. Living Flame has two active components, the initial trail of fire that chases its target and the debuff itself placed on the target. As long as the debuff is active, moving the target will leave behind an additional trail of fire.

Living Flame maintains its status in Phase 2 as one of the strongest damage tools in your entire kit, providing both solid AoE and Single-Target damage. It currently is so strong, that it replaces both Arcane Surge and Icy Veins for most builds, serving as the staple “Legs Rune”. However, this does not invalidate the other two runes, as they can still be useful when properly combined with other runes. While its damage remains insane, its healing properties when combined with Regeneration have been massively nerfed in Phase 2, reducing mage’s very high survivability which was present in Phase 1.

Living Flame can be empowered by Arcane Blast stacks, generating the best possible damage output at 4 stacks. While its damage is considerably better on an Arcane Mage build, the rune is a staple for all Mage builds. Lastly, Living Flame also directly benefits from both the Burnout and the Enlightenment runes.

Arcane Surge

  • Unleash all of your remaining mana in a surge of energy focused at the target dealing 192 to 225 Arcane damage, increased by up to 300% based on your mana remaining. Afterward, your normal mana regeneration is activated and increased by 300% for 8 sec.

The primary role of this rune is to add a powerful Single-Target core ability to the Arcane Mage specialization. This spell acts as both a nuke ability and a mana-regeneration tool, depending on how you use it. The primary concern with Arcane Surge is that depletes your entire mana pool while regenerating only 30% of it, meaning that it’s way more useful in PvP encounters than PvE encounters. You may argue that it works for the last parts of a PvE encounter as a nuke tool, especially when combined with a Mana Jade. Additionally, Arcane Surge can be empowered by Arcane Blast stacks, with each stack increasing its damage by up to 15%.

However, Living Flame is by far more powerful and useful as it can be used for both AoE and Single-Target damage multiple times depending on the encounter’s duration.

Feet

Brain Freeze

  • Your Frost Damage spells with chilling effects have a 15% chance to cause your next Fireball, Spellfrost Bolt, or Frostfire Bolt spell to be instant cast and cost no mana.

This rune is a decently strong addition to any Frost Build, however, it fairs much better in PvP encounters rather than PvE encounters. Since its effect triggers when casting spells that have chill effects, you can proc it with Frostbolt or Spellfrost Bolt, making it viable in Gnomeregan as well. Although it can prove itself to be viable, especially when combined with Icy Veins, its Spell Power rune counterpart works much better with Shatter.

Spell Power

  • Increases the critical strike damage bonus of all of your spells by up to 50%.

This rune is incredible for all possible mage builds, increasing the overall damage that your critical strikes will deal to an enemy. This rune has a great synergy with the Shatter talent from the Frost Tree, however, it also synergizes perfectly with Critical Mass and Arcane Instability. This is the standard rune for all PvE encounters in Phase 2, however, Brain Freeze can also be viable if you choose to play the Frost Build.

Talent Builds

Frost Talents

sod phase 2 pve frost mage talent build
Frost Mage Talent Calculator

In this current level bracket, Frost Mage has multiple builds that it can follow, each using a standard build that receives several variations. The main straightforward path is displayed above, with talents such as Ice Shards, Shatter, and Piercing Ice being completely mandatory. The build can vary when it comes to talents such as Arctic Reach and Elemental Precision, with the former effect being useful only during specific encounters where you need to be at max range. While Elemental Precision can be treated as a Hit Rating of some sort, it is by no means mandatory, meaning that you could end up spending those talent points on other talents.

Cold Snap is a very powerful cooldown that should be integrated into any build that chooses the Icy Veins rune as it allows you to use it twice! In case you choose to ignore Icy Veins and use another rune instead, Cold Snap will still provide you with a cooldown refresh for both Ice Block and Ice Barrier.

Ice Block and Ice Barrier will also be mandatory since they are your survivability tools, you will especially use the latter to prevent any spellcasting interruption from possible AoE effects during a raid encounter. Additionally, you may choose to spend points into Winter’s Chill to enhance your overall Critical Strike Chance, however, it is up to you whether you want to do so since the debuff itself can’t be completely maintained in some Gnomeregan encounters.

Fire Talents

sod phase 2 pve fire mage talent build
Fire Mage Talent Calculator

Fire Mage can now acquire most of its important talents, resulting in a massive overall gameplay improvement. The main talents that are completely mandatory are Improved Fireball, Ignite, Incinerate, and Improved Scorch. The first 3 effects are quite self-explanatory, with Ignite being the main promoter of the Fire Mage specialization as a DoT spec. Improved Scorch will be a very important talent to acquire, especially as it will not only benefit you but also benefit Shamans or Warlocks focused on Fire damage.

Keep in mind that Improved Scorch may prove difficult to stack properly in some situations, however, all mages casting Scorch on the same target will contribute to the same stacks! This means that with multiple Fire Mages, you can potentially achieve 5 stacks rather quickly.

Pyroblast now becomes mandatory thanks to the Hot Streak rune, playing a vital role in a Fire Mage’s play style in Phase 2. Additionally, you will want to spend two points in Burning Soul to make sure that you reduce your overall threat while also reducing any pushback effect on your spell-casting.

While the build can be considered Standard, you can play around with Blast Wave, Master of Elements, and Flame Throwing to achieve the best result for your play style. While some encounters require you to use max range, only one point in Flame Throwing often proves to be enough, allowing you to access Blast Wave. If you don’t wish to use Blast Wave, you can add one final point in Master of Elements for optimal mana management during Single-Target encounters.

Critical Mass and Fire Power are considered mandatory since they increase both your Critical Strike Chance and Fire Damage. Lastly, we also acquire one big offensive cooldown, just like Arcane Mages, Combustion. It allows us to increase our Critical Strike Chance until we land 3 critical strikes, playing a vital role in proccing Hot Streak during a burst phase. Combustion should always be used in conjunction with other offensive abilities and effects. You will want to use it only after you properly stack Improved Scorch.

Arcane Talents

sod phase 2 pve arcane mage talent build
Arcane Mage Talent Calculator

While the Arcane Tree was rather weak in the first phase of the Season of Discovery, it reached its true potential in Phase 2. Arcane has one standard build that can have multiple variations depending on your current needs. Some Arcane Mages prefer an all-around build that can be used for both raiding and open-world gameplay while others prefer a much more min-maxed build specifically made for damage output.

Arcane Focus is probably the strongest talent when compared to any other damage class in terms of providing an increased Hit Rating. While there is quite a bit more Hit Rating in Phase 2 in Season of Discovery, the Hit Rating gear is still pretty sparse. A 10% Hit Rating increase for all Arcane spells is a massive amount that Arcane Mages can acquire. Additionally, Arcane Subtlety will also contribute to your Hit Rating while also reducing your overall threat generation.

Unlike the first phase, we completely avoid Improved Arcane Missiles since we will benefit from Missile Barrage which reduces its overall casting time and the possibility of it being interrupted. As possible build variations, you can play around with talents such as Wand Specialization, Improved Counterspell, and Improved Mana Shield instead of some of the talents shown above such as Magic Absorption and Arcane Subtlety. Beware, however, that you will most likely want to avoid OoM situations where you will have to rely on your wand, meaning that Wand Specialization is a completely niche talent. Improved Counterspell is strictly taken for Arcane Mages that don’t wish to change their raiding spec each time they wish to participate in any world-PvP event while maintaining the majority of their raiding spec.

Arcane Resilience is mandatory, both for survivability and as a pre-requisite talent for Arcane Mind. Not only that we can now benefit from an increased Mana Pool but we can also have full points spent in Arcane Meditation, allowing us to regenerate more mana.

The last rows themselves are also mandatory, with Presence of Mind being a pre-requisite for Arcane Instability which increases our overall Spell Damage and Critical Strike Chance. Lastly, Arcane Power is one huge offensive cooldown that Arcane Mages can finally utilize with proper Arcane Spells, however, while it does increase their overall damage by a considerable amount, their mana cost is also increased. Wise mages should use caution when tapping into the Arcane.

Key Spells and Abilities

Frost Mage

Frostbolt

Frostbolt is our core spell as a Frost Mage, allowing us to perpetually damage and slow our targets. This spell is considered our filler and acts as the main way of proccing the Chilled status on our targets. This is imperative to our gameplay as we now possess the Fingers of Frost rune! You will find yourself spamming Frostbolt until the Fingers of Frost effect procs, at which point, you will then be able to use your other amazing rune, Ice Lance.

In terms of raw damage output, it currently has a higher damage output than Spellfrost Bolt and only a slightly lesser damage output than Frostfire Bolt. While you can use the latter to proc both Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze, Frostbolt has an overall faster cast time than Frostfire Bolt, meaning that you will want to use it as your main spell.

Ice Lance

Oh boy, I am excited for this one. Ice Lance is now available in Classic and it comes in pair with the Fingers of Frost rune. This amazing spell allows us to throw small shards of ice at our enemies, even while moving! On its own, Ice Lance has very low base damage, however, it gains triple damage against any frozen target. While there are ways to freeze our targets such as Frost Nova, we will be able to deal that amazing triple damage easily thanks to the Fingers of Frost rune which procs on Frostbolt casts.

Cold Snap

Cold Snap is a very powerful ability that allows you to reset the cooldown of all of your Frost Spells. Currently, this spell has only one use, and it’s a very important one. You will want to use it in conjunction with the Icy Veins rune to achieve a 40-second increased casting speed buff. This can be achieved by using Cold Snap right after Icy Veins expires, effectively allowing you to recast it instantly.

Cone of Cold

Cone of Cold is a powerful AoE ability that can be used to slow down multiple foes at the same time while also dealing considerable amounts of damage. This ability is best used in conjunction with Frost Nova, allowing you to fully benefit from the Shatter talent and land some amazing critical strikes.

Ice Barrier

The long-awaited “pièce de résistance” of the Frost Mage build, Ice Barrier is a spell that can be used to absorb all types of Magic Damage, regardless of the specific school of magic, and all Physical Damage. This spell is mostly used during solo content for AoE farming and any type of solo activity as a vital component but it is also extremely useful during raid and dungeon encounters. Besides the main absorption part of the spell, the reason why most mages want this spell is due to the immunity to spell drawbacks that it creates. This means that while the barrier is active, your cast time will not be hindered by any damage you may receive.

Blizzard

The only AoE spell that you should use in this current level bracket is Blizzard. The only issue with the spell is that it consumes a significant portion of your mana pool, meaning that you shouldn’t mindlessly attempt to spam it. This is especially true for characters with early equipment, as it can result in a very fast OoM situation. This spell will become more important as the Season of Discovery unfolds, with the Improved Blizzard talent allowing the spell to also provide utility for your raid group, besides its normal damage.

Additionally, Improved Blizzard can be used to trigger the Fingers of Frost effect, allowing you to weave in two Ice Lance casts in between Blizzard casts. However, while it may be an easy way to proc Fingers of Frost, it will consume a significant portion of your mana pool.

Fire Mage

Fireball

Fireball is the staple filler spell for the Fire Mage specialization, dealing high base damage while having a high cast time. You will find yourself casting this spell constantly while you are not reapplying DoTs or maintaining the Improved Scorch effect. Keep in mind that this spell is your main way of applying the Ignite effect on your target.

Fire Blast

Fire Blast is an instant-cast spell that you will find yourself casting whenever its cooldown is available. While this spell won’t be as useful as it will be in the later phases of the Season of Discovery, it will generate decently high DPS.

The main concern Fire Mages should have when consistently using Fire Blast is its relatively high baseline mana cost. As such, it would be more advantageous to use this spell when repositioning rather than weaving it in between Fireball casts.

Scorch

And here is the Fire Mage spell that enforces our secret pact with other Fire Mages, just to make sure that we empower all of our allies. Scorch is an essential ability that all Fire Mages should bring to the table, with absolutely no exceptions! This spell allows you to debuff your target by increasing all Fire Damage it receives by 15% through the Improved Scorch talent.

Pyroblast

While Pyroblast was considered an entirely optional spell in Phase 1, in Phase 2 it becomes one of your main damaging tools. As stated previously, thanks to the Hot Streak, Pyroblast can now be instant cast whenever the effect procs as a result of two consecutive critical strikes. The existence of this mechanic further emphasizes the importance of Critical Strike Chance for a Fire Mage, as you will want to cast as many Pyroblasts as possible.

The only issue with this ability is its mana cost. While triggering subsequent Hot Streak procs can enhance your overall DPS output by a considerable amount, a Pyroblast cast has a high enough mana cost to lead you to an OoM situation if you end up spamming it in a row.

Living Bomb

Did we hear some crazed mage yell in the background that he wants to burn them all? Well, that Mage might actually be able to do so now! Living Bomb is an amazing addition to the Fire Mage specialization, dealing great damage in both Single-Target and AoE encounters. This ability places a DoT on the target, exploding and dealing damage to all nearby targets whenever its effect ends or gets dispelled.

The only issue with this ability is its high mana cost, with Living Bomb costing 22% base mana per cast. This can result in some possible issues for the casual Fire Mage player, as the ability can easily result in an OoM situation whenever multi-dotting gets involved. This ability should only be applied after its effect has ended, as refreshing the effect early will remove the explosion upon its completion! Furthermore, refreshing the ability early will result in a huge mana loss, rendering you incapable of properly performing your rotation.

Blast Wave

Blast Wave is an AoE ability accessible in Phase 2 that deals moderately high damage in a large radius while also dazing any target hit. This ability is great for two things, damage and survivability. It can be used as a momentary escape tool in case you get aggro of any dangerous trash mob thanks to its daze component. As an AoE tool, it can deal impressive damage if it lands a critical strike, however, it requires you to be near the target in order to work.

The only downside of the ability is that it requires you to be close to the targets, as its overall damage and utility are quite amazing.

Flamestrike

If you ever desire to engulf an entire area in flames, Flamestrike is the perfect AoE tool for that very job. On its own, this ability used to be quite underwhelming, with Blizzard being required as an additional cast to produce any valuable damage output. However, that is no longer the case as Fire Mage now has access to Living Flame and Living Bomb as well. You should always use Flamestrike in addition to those two new effects to deal as much damage as possible. Additionally, if you are close to your target, Blast Wave is an amazing addition to add in the mix once you place multiple Living Bombs!

Arcane Mage

Arcane Blast

Finally, Arcane Mage receives an actual ability that allows it to become a proper specialization! Arcane Blast is a very powerful damaging ability that increases all Arcane Damage dealt by 15% with each cast while also increasing its cost by 175% per cast. This ability will stack up to 4 times, resulting in a 60% damage increase and a 600% mana cost increase. While the mana cost seems insane, casting any other Arcane spell such as Arcane Missiles or Arcane Explosion will remove the debuff.

Unlike its TBC-era counterpart, Arcane Blast doesn’t increase its casting speed with each subsequent Arcane Blast Debuff stack, however, it will increase all the Arcane Damage dealt! This is very surprising, as it implies that you may use this ability to severely empower all other Arcane Spells. This mainly means that Arcane Missiles will no longer be treated as a meme ability while the brand new Arcane Surge can also be heavily empowered.

Arcane Missiles

Arcane Missiles used to be the only Direct Damage spell of the Arcane Mage specialization. The ability was used mainly as a meme spell, with functionality only in PvP encounters. Right now, the ability acts as one of the core spells of the Arcane Mage specialization, with its main use being removing Arcane Blast stacks. Thanks to the Arcane Blast‘s stack effect, the spell can now be empowered up to a 60% increased damage output, however, it retains the same issue it always did. Arcane Missiles has a very high mana cost, which can result in a disaster for your mana pool if you accidentally cancel the spell early.

Luckily for Arcane Mage in Phase 2, the Missile Barrage rune now allows us to efficiently use Arcane Missiles whenever it procs, eliminating its mana cost while also increasing the overall damage of the ability. This means that there will be very few cases in which we will cast Arcane Missiles without the effect as the rune triggers quite often.

Arcane Surge

While Arcane Surge was initially thought to be a great PvE tool, it quickly became regarded as a PvP-only spell due to its mana pool depletion effect. While the ability has great burst potential and can also be used as a mana regeneration tool whenever you reach a near-OoM state, its counterpart Living Flame, is simply much more useful. This means that using Arcane Surge often results in a loss of DPS and can only be viable as a mana regeneration tool, as Living Flame simply deals way higher damage at a considerably lower cooldown.

Arcane Explosion

Although somewhat ineffective, Arcane Explosion remains a Mage’s favorite way of dealing AoE damage. Keep in mind that this spell generates a very high amount of threat, so be careful when using it. The main issue with the spell is that it requires you to be in close range of your targets, which can often prove fatal if your tanks can’t keep up. Luckily, this spell can also be enhanced by Arcane Blast!

Arcane Mages should consider using Blizzard instead, especially in raids where mobs may quickly bring a squishy mage’s demise. This is especially true if you haven’t spent points on the Improved Arcane Explosion talent.

Arcane Power

Thanks to the new 40-level cap, Arcane Mage gets its hands on a powerful offensive cooldown, Arcane Power. This spell is amazing in terms of enhancing damage output, however, it comes with a huge drawback. While it increases all damage output by up to 30% for 15 seconds, it also increases the mana cost of all spells by up to 30%. This can prove to be lethal if you don’t manage your mana properly as an Arcane Blast spam during Arcane Power can instantly lead to an OoM state.

Example Best-in-Slot

Mages can use a standardized BiS set for all their separate builds, however, each spec benefits more from small tweaks in certain gear slots such as items that specifically empower Arcane Damage, Fire Damage, and Frost Damage.

Below is an example of an all-round Best-in-Slot list that you can tweak to fit your individual needs.

Armor

  • Gneuro-Linked Arcano-Filament Monocle
    • This is the new craftable epic that we can acquire in Phase 2 after completing a chain quest involving Gnomeregan. The item itself is extremely potent, granting you both a solid amount of stats and a powerful on-use effect that you should combine with Arcane Power. Truly a worthy BiS!
  • Synthetic Mantle
    • This is the best option available for the Shoulder slot, providing you with both solid Stamina and Intellect while also increasing your overall Spell Power.
  • Bloodrot Cape/Ingenuity’s Cover
    • Both the Bloodrot Cape and the Ingenuity’s Cover can be considered a BiS for your Cloak slot! The overall performance of the items is extremely similar, meaning that you can use either of them with ease. The former option is considerably easier to acquire than the latter, as it can be directly bought from the new Stranglethorn Valley PvP event at a measly 2 Silver Coins price.
  • Irradiated Robe
    • This is the best possible option for your Chest slot! With the arrival of Gnomeregan, we gain access to two different sets, one which increases Hit Rating and another which increases Critical Strike Chance. The Irradiated Robe is part of the second set, granting you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, Spirit, and Nature Resistance. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Strength, making you considerably squishier.
  • Dryad’s Wrist Bindings
    • Yet another PvP item that serves as a PvE BiS, the Dryad’s Wrist Bindings are the most powerful wrists that you can acquire as an Arcane Mage. There are no other options that even come close to this item as it grants large amounts of Stamina, Intellect, Spirit, and Spell Power.
  • Dreamweave Gloves
    • The Dreamweave Gloves are the best possible option for the Gloves slot, especially as there are no other viable options from Gnomeregan or any other dungeon. The item itself gives the best possible mix of Spirit, Intellect, and Spell Power. This item is especially good for Arcane Mage as it requires considerable amounts of Spirit.
  • Volatile Concoction Belt
    • This is by far the best option for the Waist slot! The Volatile Concoction Belt grants us an increased Hit Rating which allows us to make sure we always deal damage to Gnomeregan bosses, especially since we already benefit from Hit Rating talents. Additionally, it increases our overall Spell Power by a considerable amount.
  • Irradiated Trousers
    • The Irradiated Trousers are the second part of the granting you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, Spirit, MP5, and Nature Resistance. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Agility, making you considerably squishier. This will be the only BiS option for the Legs slot!
  • Irradiated Boots
    • The Irradiated Boots are the final part of the Irradiated Set, serving as your BiS option for the Feet slot. They grant you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, and Spirit. The boots also have an on-equip effect which increases your overall Hit Rating by 1%, replacing the Hit Rating lost from the Extraplanar Spidersilk Boots. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Agility, making you considerably squishier.

Weapons

Jewelry

  • Piston Pendant
    • This is by far the best possible option for your Neck slot! It offers a considerable increase in stats over the former BiS, granting increased Intellect, Stamina, Spirit, and Spell Power. The only stat lost compared to the former BiS is Armor rating, however, we don’t need it as mages.
  • Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration
    • Yet another epic from Gnomeregan, the Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration is truly a powerful ring! It offers increased Nature and Arcane resistance which aid with the majority of the Gnomeregan fights while also increasing your MP5 and Spell Power.
  • Blood Resonance Circle
    • The Blood Resonance Circle is the second-best option for your Ring slot besides the Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration, granting you a considerable amount of Arcane Spell Power and raw stats. This epic ring can be acquired from the Stranglethorn Valley PvP event, costing 5 Silver Coins.
  • Invoker’s Void Pearl
    • The Invoker’s Void Pearl from Blackfathom Depths remains one of the BiS options for us as it continues to grant a considerable amount of Spell Power!
  • Miniaturized Combustion Chamber
    • The Miniaturized Combustion Chamber is a new trinket available from Gnomeregan, granting you some very potent bonuses. Besides its raw Intellect, Fire Resistance, and Spell Power, the trinket has an on-use effect which has an RNG element involved. It can be used to provide you with a solid mana regeneration tool, provided that the RNG gods are on your side. The effect can vary between 1 and 150 HP to MP conversion, ticking every second for a total of 10 seconds.

Armor

  • Gneuro-Linked Arcano-Filament Monocle
    • This is the new craftable epic that we can acquire in Phase 2 after completing a chain quest involving Gnomeregan. The item itself is extremely potent, granting you both a solid amount of stats and a powerful on-use effect that you should combine with Combustion. Truly a worthy BiS!
  • Synthetic Mantle
    • This is the best option available for the Shoulder slot, providing you with both solid Stamina and Intellect while also increasing your overall Spell Power.
  • Bloodrot Cape/Ingenuity’s Cover
    • Both the Bloodrot Cape and the Ingenuity’s Cover can be considered a BiS for your Cloak slot! The overall performance of the items is extremely similar, meaning that you can use either of them with ease. The former option is considerably easier to acquire than the latter, as it can be directly bought from the new Stranglethorn Valley PvP event at a measly 2 Silver Coins price.
  • Irradiated Robe
    • This is the best possible option for your Chest slot! With the arrival of Gnomeregan, we gain access to two different sets, one which increases Hit Rating and another which increases Critical Strike Chance. The Irradiated Robe is part of the second set, granting you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, Spirit, and Nature Resistance. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Strength, making you considerably squishier.
  • Dryad’s Wrist Bindings
    • Yet another PvP item that serves as a PvE BiS, the Dryad’s Wrist Bindings are the most powerful wrists that you can acquire as a Fire Mage. There is only one item that manages to get close to it in performance, the Phoenix Bindings, which can be considered a viable alternative.
  • Dreamweave Gloves
    • The Dreamweave Gloves are the best possible option for the Gloves slot, especially as there are no other viable options from Gnomeregan or any other dungeon. The item itself gives the best possible mix of Spirit, Intellect, and Spell Power. This item is especially good for Arcane Mage as it requires considerable amounts of Spirit.
  • Volatile Concoction Belt
    • This is by far the best option for the Waist slot! The Volatile Concoction Belt grants us an increased Hit Rating which allows us to properly deal damage to the Gnomeregan Bosses. Additionally, it grants us a considerable amount of Spell Power.
  • Irradiated Trousers
    • The Irradiated Trousers are the second part of the granting you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, Spirit, MP5, and Nature Resistance. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Agility, making you considerably squishier. This will be the only BiS option for the Legs slot!
  • Irradiated Boots
    • The Irradiated Boots are the final part of the Irradiated Set, serving as your BiS option for the Feet slot. They grant you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, and Spirit. The boots also have an on-equip effect which increases your overall Hit Rating by 1%, replacing the Hit Rating lost from the Extraplanar Spidersilk Boots. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Agility, making you considerably squishier.

Weapons

Jewelry

  • Piston Pendant
    • This is by far the best possible option for your Neck slot! It offers a considerable increase in stats over the former BiS, granting increased Intellect, Stamina, Spirit, and Spell Power. The only stat lost compared to the former BiS is Armor rating, however, we don’t need it as mages.
  • Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration
    • Yet another epic from Gnomeregan, the Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration is truly a powerful ring! It offers increased Nature and Arcane resistance which aid with the majority of the Gnomeregan fights while also increasing your MP5 and Spell Power.
  • Emberblood Seal
    • The Emberblood Seal is the second-best option for your Ring slot besides the Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration, granting you a considerable amount of Fire Spell Power and raw stats. This epic ring can be acquired from the Stranglethorn Valley PvP event, costing 5 Silver Coins.
  • Invoker’s Void Pearl
    • The Invoker’s Void Pearl from Blackfathom Depths remains one of the BiS options for us as it continues to grant a considerable amount of Spell Power!
  • Miniaturized Combustion Chamber
    • The Miniaturized Combustion Chamber is a new trinket available from Gnomeregan, granting you some very potent bonuses. Besides its raw Intellect, Fire Resistance, and Spell Power, the trinket has an on-use effect which has an RNG element involved. It can be used to provide you with a solid mana regeneration tool, provided that the RNG gods are on your side. The effect can vary between 1 and 150 HP to MP conversion, ticking every second for a total of 10 seconds.

Armor

  • Gneuro-Linked Arcano-Filament Monocle
    • This is the new craftable epic that we can acquire in Phase 2 after completing a chain quest involving Gnomeregan. The item itself is extremely potent, granting you both a solid amount of stats and a powerful on-use effect that you should combine with Icy Veins. Truly a worthy BiS!
  • Synthetic Mantle
    • This is the best option available for the Shoulder slot, providing you with both solid Stamina and Intellect while also increasing your overall Spell Power.
  • Bloodrot Cape/Ingenuity’s Cover
    • Both the Bloodrot Cape and the Ingenuity’s Cover can be considered a BiS for your Cloak slot! The overall performance of the items is extremely similar, meaning that you can use either of them with ease. The former option is considerably easier to acquire than the latter, as it can be directly bought from the new Stranglethorn Vale PvP event at a measly 2 Silver Coins price.
  • Irradiated Robe
    • This is the best possible option for your Chest slot! With the arrival of Gnomeregan, we gain access to two different sets, one which increases Hit Rating and another which increases Critical Strike Chance. The Irradiated Robe is part of the second set, granting you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, Spirit, and Nature Resistance. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Strength, making you considerably squishier.
  • Dryad’s Wrist Bindings
    • Yet another PvP item that serves as a PvE BiS, the Dryad’s Wrist Bindings are the most powerful wrists that you can acquire. There are no other options that even come close to this item as it grants large amounts of Stamina, Intellect, Spirit, and Spell Power.
  • Dreamweave Gloves
    • The Dreamweave Gloves are the best possible option for the Gloves slot, especially as there are no other viable options from Gnomeregan or any other dungeon. The item itself gives the best possible mix of Spirit, Intellect, and Spell Power. This item is especially good for Arcane Mage as it requires considerable amounts of Spirit.
  • Volatile Concoction Belt
    • This is by far the best option for the Waist slot! The Volatile Concoction Belt grants us increased Hit Rating which allows us to make sure we always deal damage to Gnomeregan bosses, especially since we already benefit from Hit Rating talents. Additionally, it increases our overall Spell Power by a considerable amount.
  • Irradiated Trousers
    • The Irradiated Trousers are the second part of the granting you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, Spirit, MP5, and Nature Resistance. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Agility, making you considerably squishier. This will be the only BiS option for the Legs slot!
  • Irradiated Boots
    • The Irradiated Boots are the final part of the Irradiated Set, serving as your BiS option for the Feet slot. They grant you access to powerful set bonuses while also granting large amounts of Spell Power, Intellect, and Spirit. The boots also have an on-equip effect which increases your overall Hit Rating by 1%, replacing the Hit Rating lost from the Extraplanar Spidersilk Boots. The only issue with the set is that it reduces your overall Stamina and Agility, making you considerably squishier.

Weapons

Jewelry

  • Piston Pendant
    • This is by far the best possible option for your Neck slot! It offers a considerable increase in stats over the former BiS, granting increased Intellect, Stamina, Spirit, and Spell Power. The only stat lost compared to the former BiS is Armor rating, however, we don’t need it as mages.
  • Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration
    • Yet another epic from Gnomeregan, the Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration is truly a powerful ring! It offers increased Nature and Arcane resistance which aid with the majority of the Gnomeregan fights while also increasing your MP5 and Spell Power.
  • Loop of Chilled Veins
    • The Loop of Chilled Veins is the second-best option for your Ring slot besides the Hypercharged Gear of Conflagration, granting you a considerable amount of Frost Spell Power and raw stats. This epic ring can be acquired from the Stranglethorn Vale PvP event, costing 5 Silver Coins.
  • Invoker’s Void Pearl
    • The Invoker’s Void Pearl from Blackfathom Depths remains one of the BiS options for us as it continues to grant a considerable amount of Spell Power!
  • Miniaturized Combustion Chamber
    • The Miniaturized Combustion Chamber is a new trinket available from Gnomeregan, granting you some very potent bonuses. Besides its raw Intellect, Fire Resistance, and Spell Power, the trinket has an on-use effect which has an RNG element involved. It can be used to provide you with a solid mana regeneration tool, provided that the RNG gods are on your side. The effect can vary between 1 and 150 HP to MP conversion, ticking every second for a total of 10 seconds.

Noteworthy Items

  • Rod of the Ancient Sleepwalker
    • This staff remains one of the most powerful items from Phase 1 which you can still efficiently use in Phase 2. It grants amazing overall stats, providing an impressive 26 increase in Spell Power. You can use this item until you acquire the Gnomeregan epic weapons.
  • Staff of Jordan

Race Choice

Human

While Human Mages are depicted as iconic representations of the class, the reality is that most of their racial effects are not as effective in PvE as we would have hoped. The only racial effect that has somewhat of a use for the Mage Class is The Human Spirit, offering a small 5% boost to the Spirit stat. Other passive effects such as the Sword Specialization or the Mace Specialization have no use for us since we can’t even equip a Mace or desire to be close enough to our targets to attack them with a sword. Perception is a PvP/Leveling effect that has close to no practical use in any raid content, while Diplomacy is only useful outside any PvE or PvP encounter.

Gnome

Gnomes are the better choice for playing an Alliance Mage, as they have access to multiple powerful racial effects. The Expansive Mind racial effect offers the best passive effect for caster classes, boosting Intellect by 5%. This results in both a higher Mana Pool and a higher Critical Strike Chance, with the added Intellect increasing Spell Critical Strike Chance as a result. Gnomes additionally have increased survivability through the Escape Artist racial effect, which provides an additional CC-removal besides Blink. Engineering Specialization will not be as useful since professions are capped at 150 in the first phase. Lastly, Gnomes benefit from Arcane Resistance, a racial effect that can be very useful depending on the encounter they are currently in.

Undead

Undead is the first available race for playing a Horde Mage, having a few beneficial effects for PvE raid encounters. The Will of the Forsaken is among the most iconic racial effects, providing a similar crowd-control removal tool to the Gnome race, allowing them to escape from any Charm, Fear, and sleep effects. This racial effect acts as a trinket of sorts, allowing a mage to survive dangerous situations when Blink is simply not enough. Secondly, Shadow Resistance provides situational increased survivability depending on the encounter itself. Since a lot of mobs will deal Shadow Damage, this passive effect can be very useful. Sadly, Cannibalize is far less effective for Mages than it is for other classes since we have access to our own infinite supply of food, however, it can lessen the downtime in between pulls by a tiny amount. Lastly, Undead has the Underwater Breathing racial effect, however, it has absolutely no benefit in any raid encounter, being more of an outdoors exploration tool.

While those effects are technically useful depending on the situation, they will sadly get outclassed by Troll Mages who possess a stronger racial effect for generating high damage outputs.

Troll

Troll is the second available race for playing a Horde Mage, and objectively the better of the two choices thanks to its damage-enhancing effects. Troll has access to two very powerful damage-enhancing effects, namely Berserking and Beast Slaying. While the latter effect is a small 5% damage boost against all manners of beasts which has a very situational use depending on the encounter itself, the former effect can be truly astonishing. Berserking grants a 10% casting speed increase while at full HP, with the effect scaling up to 30% if you are injured. This allows trolls to purposefully place themselves in harm’s way to massively boost their overall DPS. The best part about Berserking is that it can be stacked with similar effects, making it a truly powerful DPS cooldown. Trolls also benefit from increased survivability through their Regeneration racial effect, allowing them to maintain their base regeneration even in combat. While this effect is certainly not overpowered, it surely does aid in heavy AoE fights, lessening the pressure off healers. Lastly, Troll also has access to the Bow Specialization & Throwing Specialization, although they will be entirely useless since we can’t use either Bows or Throwns as a Mage.

 

About the Author

Nevermore

Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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