View Full Version : How to play a mage.

Monday, 2nd May 2005, 01:24
Hello all.
This post will have more info added as I gather info I don't have right now. And I would like to apologize for any misspelling.

This is a small guide that will tell you how to play a mage, well in my opinion anyway :)

I'll be telling about spells I think is absolutly nessecary, surgestions on talent build, how to solo play, how to party/raid play and, if I can remember, someting about the Mage quests.

To start of with, spells/talents I think is needed (other than the obvious).
Evoation - Talent. Gives you a 1500% mana regen rate for 8 sec's, this is a channaling spell so make sure no mobs are attacking you, and it's best saved for a combat situation.
Clearcasting - Talent. Gives you a percentage chance of your next combat spell will have a mana cost of 0.
Improved Counterspell - Talent. Sielences your target, only use when target is caster spell, otherwice it wont work. Counterspell is a great way to pull casters into melee combat and for some reason, after the effect wares of, the taget forgest he's a caster and keeps poking you.
Combustion - Talent. The last fire talent you get, it gives you a 100% chance of your next firespell critting, this combined with a Pyroblast or Flame Wave is awesome. :D
Pyroblast - Spell. You need to start this spell of with a talent in the fire tree, the rest (ranks) are trained at your mage trainer. This is a great spell to start of combat, long cast time and loads of damage.
Flame wave - Spell. Starts of a a talent in the fire tree, the rest are trained at the mage trainer. This spell is great for when you need a big range and much damage, I don't know the range but it's bigger than the Arcane Explotion.

The 3 different talent trees are Fire, Arcane and Frost.
The Arcane talent tree (spells) is basically a supplement to the two other trees. It's importaint to get points in Arcane as there are no mobs who are resistaint or immune to Arcane, but the spells are more expensive (mana wise). Furthermore Arcane ads to the total manapool, mana regeneration and other very usefull stuff, for both a Fire and Frost mage.

The Fire tree (spells) are focused on dealing as much damage as posible, most of the talents go to reducing cast time and increasing damage. Other than that, it's very straight forward.

The Frost tree (spells) focueses on slowing down/stopping your enemy (movement and attack speed) thereby getting a chance to get in more damage from you and your teammats.

My talent build and why.
Arcane Tree
5/5 Arcane Missiles - Gives you a 100% cance of NOT getting interrupeted while channeling the spell. This is great since the spell is expensive and does a lot of damage, total.

Arcane Concentration 5/5 - Gives you a 10% chance of getting clearcasting, witch means that your next offensive spell has a 0 mana cost, if you cast it within 13 secs (I think, it might be 14 or 15 secs, thers a timer that tells you how long you have).

Improved Arcane Explotion 5/5 - Reduceses the casting time of the spell, getting it down to an instant cast. There ALMOST no difference in cast time from 4/5 to 5/5 but when your in the middel of loads of mobs all hitting you it interrupts your cast time (slowing you down) so it's importaint to get the last point.

Evocation 1/1 - This gives your the abillity to have a 1500% mana regen over 8 secs. With a 10 min cooldown. (I know I repeat my self here)

Improved Mana Shield 2/2 - Encreases the damage your mana shield can take and reducing the damage vs. mana ratio.

Improved Counterspell 2/2 - The targeted caster (mana user) is silenced for 4 secs, this pulls loads of aggro from the caster to you and courses the target to engage in melee combat.

Fire Tree
Improved Fireball 5/5 - reducing your Fireball cast time, when full point reduced bu 0,5 secs :D

Ignite 5/5 - When fire spell crits, the target recives aditional 40% of the initial damage over 4 secs. (this is why combustion is great)

Improved Fire Blast 5/5 - Reducing cooldown time, when all points you can shift between Fireball and Fire Blast with almost no wastet time.

Flame Throwing 1/2 - Encreases the range of your fire spells. The only reason I have this one is to get the 30 points needed to get the Combustion talent. I might change this one to Burning Soul.

Pyroblast 1/1 - This one speaks for it self :D

Improved Flamestrike 3/3 - 3 points are neede here to gain access to the Blast Wave talent, so this is the only reason I have this one

Improved Fire Ward 1/2 - This reflects the fire damage you recive to your attacker (If you active the spell), this might get moved to Burning Soul.

Critical Mass 3/3 - 3 points required to get Fire Power, witch leads to Combustion, and it increases your crit chance

Blast Wave 1/1 - Get the spell trained when you can, this is a great AoE spell.

Fire Power - 5/5 Increases your fire damage with all your spells by 10%

Combustion 1/1 - Gives a 100% chance of next fire spell critting.

Solo and Group playing
When solo playing, at any level, you need the initiative when going into battle, if a mob get the drop on you (Attacks you of your guard) it decreases your chance of comming out alive, especially if you don't have blink (below lvl 20).

What I usually do is; start of at max range with a Pyroblast ((Combined with Combustion)ong cast time and much damage), then a Fireball (med. cast time and med. damage), a Fireblast (instaint cast and little damage), a Frost Nova (at this time the mob will prob. be close enough to hit you (H2H combat) so this spell let's you get some distance). Then another Fireball and a Fireblast. At this time the mob will most lickly be free og the Frost nova and very low on health, so a final Fireball should finish him off.

This ofcourse only works if I have the initiative when starting battle.

If a monstere attackes you of your guard, you can try starting of with a Frost Nova and then a Pyroblast from there, depending of terrain, how far to nearest freindly players/guards and other monsters, you'll have to improvise your attack. If things get too "uncomfetable" get a Frost Nova of and Blink to get some distance, a Mana Shield would proberly be helpfull too.
Daymare has a very good point, if you get jumped by a mob (humanoid or beast) it's a good idear to sheep the mob to get distance or to run away. Just keep in mind, that unlike the priest spell shackle (for undead) the sheep spell heals the mob very fast so try not to sheep a mob who's take damage, unless you wanna run away :p

When Partying/raiding. There usually is a tank to take care of the aggro, but beeing a mage/nuker, you'll pull aggro of the tank if your not carefull, especially if you start of with a crit hit. And the tank will have a hard time getting aggro back of you. So it's a good idear to wait abit before you start to "Hiroshima" a mob, this way the tank will have "Good aggro" and you most likely not pull aggro to yourself.

When fighting more than one mob, you should figure out witch mob the tank is attacking and focus your attack on the same mob. Don't worry about the tank, not beeing able to take the damage, that's what the healer is there fore, but if you attack another target then the tank you'll be "tanking" your self and beeing a cloth where with few hitpoint's the healer will have lots more to do, so unless you have a good healer along you can course a wipe this way. A good tool in raids to help assisting the tank is the mod "CT raid assist" witch you can find at http://www.ctmod.net/downloads.ct

In between combat, make sure you drink your mana water (and eat your food for health) so that you have a full manabar (healthbar) when you and your group start the next fight, most times a group will wait for Mages/healers to get full mana, but there's no guarantee, especially if your in a random group.

What spell to use?

When In a instance it's important to conserve your mana by casting the most effecient spells (damage vs mana cost / "The most bang for your buck"). Ie. if a monster is almost dead and you know if you cast another fireball that does 600-700 damage, and the monster only has 400 hp left your gonna wast your mana, so let the tank(s) take care of the rest, so you can focus your spells on your next victim. If you gain Clearcasting while, then cast the spell the does the MOST damge no matter the mana cost, at high lvl's Blizzard will be the most devasteting spell, but that's a AOE (Area of Effect) spell, so using that spell will most likely get you some aggro, therefore a Arcane Missile spell would be your best bet.

At some point you'll have to fight mobs who are resistaing or even immune to your spell's (don't worry, a firegut don't heal it self if you, for some reason, try to damage it with a fire spell, but it wont hurt it).

Area of Effect(AoE)
Be carefull while using your AoE spell, mainly because you pull a lot of aggro but if theres sheeped or shackled mobs around you undo the relese the mobs. A good idear is basicly NOT to use AoE spells when soloing (unless when fighting mobs a few lvl's lower then your self) unless you have a good healer along.
When in a party/raid, it's a good idear to make sure the party knows (especially the healer) that your going AoE crazy otherwise you'll likely end up dead. When you have all 5 points in Improved Arcane Explotion, this will be your foremost AoE spell, allthough start out with a Blast Wave or a Blizzard.

Thats about all I can think of, but if something else pops up in my memory I'll type it in. If you have any questions fell free to post the (so others can benefit) and I'll answer to the best of my ability.

Monday, 2nd May 2005, 05:29
Excellent stuff :)

Monday, 2nd May 2005, 07:18
Just started a Mage alt, useful stuff in there m8 :) Keep it coming.

Monday, 2nd May 2005, 07:31
I have taken the liberty of moving this to the main wow room, seeing that it obviously belong there, as a good read for everyone to see =)

One thing I like to do when caught offguard is to use poly to get some distance btw =)

Monday, 2nd May 2005, 20:32
one of the things ive found playing my mage is to use scorch as an opener in groups - tipped off about using it from some noob :P, its fast cast does good damage but probably not enough to gain too much aggro you can let let fire with the big spells and not be in too much fear of pulling aggro off a tank too regularly,

my fire set up is slightly different to isadors although i will be respeccing the fire part soon to something very similar, as far as the arcane side goes im ploughing all my talent points into it now, if i was doing it again i would probably put more into arcane earlier simply because i burn through mana for fun right now.

im grouped with niko alot and when your playing with a decent tank dont be afriad to use mage armor - with paladin buffs and you managing your spells correctly you can greatly increase your uptime and efficiency.

Monday, 2nd May 2005, 22:27
one of the things ive found playing my mage is to use scorch as an opener in groups - tipped off about using it from some noob :P,

Can i ask.. who is that n00b?

Tuesday, 3rd May 2005, 13:21
Id like to c ur tips on pvp'ing as well. since ur build is basically only made for pve. so how do u survive in pvp with such long casting time and just pyroblasting/fireballing the oponent?

Tuesday, 3rd May 2005, 14:46
Well, first thing in PvE fights as a mage is - you will never shoot first ;) Let the puller do the pull, tank get the aggro (let him/her fight the mob for few seconds) and then shoot. And not with the biggest spell you can pack (unless you know that tank and are 100% sure that he/she really has the aggro). You'll do enough damage anyway, even if you're not the first person to shoot, so let that tank gain some aggro and then hit it. Also, remember, that aggro control in the group is not only the tanks job. It also means that the mage should be aware how much he/she can blast before pulling the mob off of the tank. If mage gets close to that point, stop for a moment, let the tank regain aggro, and shoot then again. Pay attention to the fact that the taunting skills have also timers, some have longers, some have shorter, but they DO have the timers.

You have to pay a bit more attention when paladin is tanking (and yes, paladins can tank, of course not everything, warrior is always better choice of course), because paladins rely on their aggro seals to proc to generate aggro and at times they don't want to proc too much. Paladin can judge the seal on the mob and then re-seal and use AoE, this combo generates additional aggro (judged seal adds aggo with every Holy damage done to the mob, and Consecration does Holy damage every second for the duration, so it's like small aggro gaining chain), but note that in this case the paladin uses Consecration, AoE spell, which means that better sheep some mobs away from the group if needed, so that they wont get hit with it.

Main thing is still the same, no matter the tank - if you DO pull the aggro off of the tank, then stop nuking instead of trying to nuke even more. Stopping allows the tank generate enough aggro to pull the mob off of you; nuking it even more will make the mob more angrier at you, nullify chances for the tank to get the mob off of you and some mobs hit really hard when they enrage and also crit. Don't run around like headless chicken, it's hard to hit the mob which is running around - stand still, take some hits if needed, then try to step away some, out of melee range. Frost Nova and such are nice, but again consider the damage they do, as it all adds to aggro, not takes it away.

That much about aggro and tanking, how to do mage'ish things - that's up to mages to suggest :)

Thursday, 5th May 2005, 01:33
Id like to c ur tips on pvp'ing as well. since ur build is basically only made for pve. so how do u survive in pvp with such long casting time and just pyroblasting/fireballing the oponent?

Since I'm playing on a PvE server, I don't have much experience playing outside an arranged/planned PvP enviroment.

So any advice I'd hand out here conserning PvE, would mostly be BS, so I'm not gonna wast your or my time, by trying.

I'm guessing your not asking about dueling, if so I might have a few pointers?

Thursday, 5th May 2005, 21:47
yes basically all i am asking of is that do u use that tactic in pvp (duels or not) as well?

Friday, 6th May 2005, 02:36
Well It depends on witch kind of opponent I'm facing ,how many theres of them and of "my team". IMO there's no gereneral procedure cuz fighting a pre programed mod and a thinking individual are two very different things, allthough some clases are predictable in their attack patterns.

But all things equal, I'd probberly start our with a poly, combustion, pyroblast, fireball flameblast, arcane explotion and an flamewave (shoud give about 3500 points of dmg, I think, can't remember) - run a bit away, frost nova, blink, fireball, fireblast, arcane explotion (1500 worth of dmg) if your aoopnent's not dead, improvise from here.

if you fight a warrior you wanna get some distance, while fighting a hunter you wanne sheep the pet and get in closer (dead range). I find figthing, palas, shamans ans priests particular annoying to pvp and I have no clue as to their weakness.

Friday, 6th May 2005, 03:05
if you fight a warrior you wanna get some distance, while fighting a hunter you wanne sheep the pet and get in closer (dead range).If you get into the dead zone you can pwn a Hunter. If you get hit by Improved Concussive Shot, you better prey it doesn't get followed up with an Aimed Shot crit, eh Isador? :)

Friday, 6th May 2005, 09:49
Yes, that can be quite annoying :rolleyes: (allthough, a blink will get you out of the improved consussive shot(what Fusion said), witch I had forgotten. It will get you out of most stunning "spells" come to think if it :D - Obviously I find, getting out as much damage as possible in the smallest amout of time will mostly get you a win, unless fighting a healer, then you also have to worry about counterspelling the bastard (learn for each race/class how it looks when they cast a healing spell).

If fighting someone who can counter you (prevent you casting from a certain school) you might wanna try confusing your opponnt by casting a spell or two from another tree then your main tree, and hope your opponent will use their counter on that spelltree.

I'll get some in on how I would play in a multiple pvp senario later on.

Saturday, 7th May 2005, 17:16
well ive just respecced at 47 to correct the "errors" on stuff i picked from the fire tree and to invest more points into arcane tree to help my journey to 60 , was burning mana too fast to even make it pve effective,

final build im aiming at to get me to 60 will be as follows

Arcane Tree 21 points
Arcane Missiles 5/5
Arcane Concentration 5/5
Improved Arcane Explosion 5/5
Evocation 1/1
Mana Regen Skill (at work cant find the proper name :/) 2/5
Improved Counterspell 2/2
Presence Of Mind 1/1

Basically swapping out combustion for presence of mind - basically its a trade off for a guaranteed crit from combustion or an instant cast of any spell - for pve its got many applications for soloing its quite nice to be able to insta cast any spell,

as far as the fire tree goes

Fire Tree 30 points

Improved Fireball 5/5
Improved Fire Blast 5/5
Ignite 5/5
Flame Throwing 2/2
Pyroblast 1/1
Improved Flamestrike 3/3
Critical Mass 3/3
Blast Wave 1/1
Fire Power - 5/5

had to type this from memory and no access to talent trees at work so the order might be a bit screwy,

as i said earlier this is the build to get - me to 60 its basically all geared to mana conservation (as best is possible for a fire mage :D) - fire damage and as much + crit and additional crit damage available from the fire tree, aoe is improved in both trees - making it viable in instances.

theres very little crowd control in the there apart from sheep which every one has :p

when i get 60 i will swap to a build with more points in arcane - to the bottom of the tree possibly and focus all my fire points into the quick casting skills - scorch / fire blast / chance to stun skills,

still have to try frost mage - im soo tempted to give it a whirl before 60 too

would like to see anyones projected builds for a frost/arcane mage

Monday, 9th May 2005, 01:38
Are there any fros mages out there. Think i have never seen a mage doing frost all the time, its always fire comming out of their hands. It might just be me that have a vry short memory tho.

Monday, 9th May 2005, 09:15
Don't know details about mages, but, the frost tree doesn't pack such a punch as fire does, although it has other utilities, like movement stopping, defensive barriers and such. And of course, damaging spells too, but as was said, not as "mean" as fire or arcane. However, I know that many mages did start to look more on the frost talents after some fire spells and talents were put on diminishing returns or some such thing. As one of my mage friends said about frost mage - they wont kill you as fast as a fire mage does, but they sure as hell can stop the whole teams cold in their tracks :D

Monday, 9th May 2005, 11:51
For 40-person raids, frost mages are preffered for 2 reasons.

1: Many bosses in MC have high fire resistance. Ragnaros is immune to fire.

2: You can only have 8 debuffs on a boss at one time. The very small amount of damage over time that fireballs do push other debuffs off the list. You need to keep sunder armor and other essentials on the mob, so casting fireballs is a bad idea vs these bosses. I know some of the better MC-farming guilds on US have banned the use of all debuffs except fairie fire, sunder armor, hunters' mark and a couple of warlock curses (lowering resistances).

Tuesday, 10th May 2005, 20:04
For 40-person raids, frost mages are preffered for 2 reasons.

1: Many bosses in MC have high fire resistance. Ragnaros is immune to fire.

2: You can only have 8 debuffs on a boss at one time. The very small amount of damage over time that fireballs do push other debuffs off the list. You need to keep sunder armor and other essentials on the mob, so casting fireballs is a bad idea vs these bosses. I know some of the better MC-farming guilds on US have banned the use of all debuffs except fairie fire, sunder armor, hunters' mark and a couple of warlock curses (lowering resistances).

Well I tend to agree with you on your first reason, allthough when it comes to debuffs, there are a simillar amount of debuffs from bouth fire and frost. Fires does DoT where as frost slows/freeses the target so it makes no nevermid what kinda spells you use.

But yes, many of the more "hardcore" bosses are resistant or immune to fire spells.

Wednesday, 11th May 2005, 09:43
The bosses are immune to the slow effect from frost spells, but not immune to the pathetic DoT from fire spells, so frost does not use debuff slots while fire does.

Wednesday, 11th May 2005, 14:36
Ok, never noticed, nice of you to share :)

Anyway it might be too early do discuss this now, as we are now where near fighting Ragnaros or Onyxia for that matter. Allthough after this weekends event, the dragon Mother Onyxia will start to tremble in fear as the mighty Renegade Legion closes in, or she may not.

While dicussing frost mages, does anyone of you have any surgestions to a frost talent build? Cuz I'm considering a change :D

Saturday, 4th June 2005, 12:24
ive respecced several times now from fire arcane / frost arcane and back again,

have to say my favourite build so far has been 23 fire /28 arcane focusing on picking up all the +crit bonuses through both trees, no pryoblast / no combustion / no blast wave - focusing all fire points on the quick casting spells and getting them to crit as much as possible - combine it with +crit gear and its very effective

its effective in pve and pvp and if you manage your spells correctly you dont have a problem with aggro - basically scorch scorch throw in a fireball or get clearcast and spam those missiles :D

right now im testing out arcane power so im 20 fire /31 arcane taking pryoblast in this build, for pvp its a nice build although i feel like a bit of a 1 trick pony
arcane power , fireball , pom, pyroblast , fireblast and whatever else is needed to finish the job,

testing frost mage on the test server and i think i would probably go for a 30/21 build just so i get to keep presence of mind, cold snap and ice block and improved cone of cold along with the +crit chances are what i would pick on the way down, improved frost nova etc, cant access a talent tree site from work or id post my projected build,

Tuesday, 7th June 2005, 15:08
Have you guys changed your spec for MC now?