Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.3.
See our Mage overview page for general info on patches, talents, glyphs, abilities, etc. See the spec pages, below, for more detailed PvP info.
The 5.3 patch had some changes of interest to all mages:
- Flameglow took a nerf in 5.3. It absorbs less damage and might also be affected by battle fatigue. Now it’s probably only valuable against DOT classes, such as Affliction Warlocks. Temporal Shield might be the “go to” talent now, if you can time it right.
- Incanter’s Ward was changed. Less burst and longer duration. With the short cooldown you should be able to keep this up nearly 100% of the time.
- Living Bomb was buffed (and the explosion was nerfed.) The DOT part was buffed nicely and it doesn’t break your team’s CCs until it explodes, unlike Nether Tempest. (Refreshing LB constantly will make sure it never explodes.) It’s also (and was always) instant, which is a big advantage of Frost Bomb when the other side is actively interrupting your spells. It also now scales nicely with Haste. There’s very little reason to use Nether Tempest anymore.
- Generally Mages are very competitive. Hunter/melee teams are really the only ones causing grief. You’ll just have to outplay them.
- Check out Skill-Capped for info on how to outplay anyone.
Mage PvP Specs
- Arcane PvP: Lots of damage, pretty squishy.
- Fire PvP: Lots of damage, better mobility, crit dependent. Massive damage when the crits line up. Still squishy.
- Frost PvP: Lots of survivability and CC, less sustained damage, but still quite nice. Still the spec of choice for Mists of Pandaria PvP.
- Mage gearing for PvP – Your Mage has just hit 90, here’s how you should handle your PvP gearing.
- Mage Overview – Lots of general Mage stuff.
- Mage Leveling – Still need to get to 90? This is the page you want.
All mages in PvP will use the same basic stat priority:
Regardless of spec:
- 6% hit for PvP (15% for raids)
- Gem for Int (PvP Power and Res were nerfed in 5.3.)
Hit & Expertise: What you want is Spell Hit, and you Expertise and racial Expertise bonus (if you have one) both factor into your Spell Hit, as well as your regular Hit rating, of course.
Once you have your Hit:
- Fire should respec everything into Crit., though Haste is now more valuable than before with the Living bomb changes. Still, Crit gets you those procs…
- Arcane and Frost should do the same for Haste.
Gems for PvP Mages
Gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats, so your Haste gems are 320 points and your Int gems are 160. This gives more reason to match socket bonuses. Note that patch 5.3 nerfed PvP Power AND and changed the Resilience rules. Both had their gem values cut in half. You should now gem for Int as your #1 stat.
For most cases you will want to use these and you do want to match socket colors for the bonuses.
- Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond when you can get it, otherwise Burning Primal Diamond. The two legendary gems are very nice if you raid enough to get them (and do the quest.)
- Red socket: Brilliant Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Potent Vermilion Onyx or Reckless Vermilion Onyx
- Blue: Mysterious Imperial Amethyst
- Belt and Blacksmithing sockets:Brilliant Primordial Ruby
Your Mage bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int. That bonus does not add to other stats.
|Meta||Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +665 PVP Power and +775 Resilience, requires 27k earned conquest points and iLevel 476, cost 1k conquest points.
Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit EffectSinister Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on spell damage to gain 30% spell haste
Capacitive Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: 160 Resilience
Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +320 Crit
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: +160 PvP power
Rigid River’s Heart: +320 Hit
|Orange||Willful Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +80 Resilience
Potent Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Crit
Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 80 Int, 160 Haste
Tenuous Vermilion Onyx: 160 Expertise, 80 Resilience
|Green||Balanced Adventurine: +200 Hit and +100 PvP Resilience
Vivid Adventurine: +100 PvP Power and +100 PvP Resilience
Vivid Wild Jade: +80 Res, +80 PvP Power
Piercing Wild Jade: +160 Critical Strike and +160 Hit
|Purple||Mysterious Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +80 PvP Power
Veiled Imperial Amethyst: 80 Int and 160 Hit
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||Sparkling Tinker’s Gear: 600 Spirit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Mage Enchants for PvP
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
The only Resilience enchant in the Chest piece, there are no PvP Power enchants. This means your enchanting will be mostly the same for PvP and PvE.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Glorious Tyranny: 400 PvP Power, 200 Resilience, 50% Disarm reduction, cost is 1,000 Conquest points. You have to earn 25k CPs to be able to access the vendor, 27k to be able to buy the item.
Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650
Enchant Weapon – Windsong: Sometimes increase Crit, Haste, or Mastery by 1,500 for 12 seconds. Jade Spirit is much better, this one is much less expensive.
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks can give 2k Int for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: +200 Resilience
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +180 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Crit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Greater Precison: +175 Hit rating
Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
Enchant Boots – Greater Haste: +170 Haste
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
Notes on Abilities
As of Mists of Pandaria Shatter is now available to all mages. Freeze your opponent before nuking and get a massively increased crit chance.
Tier 1 Talents:
- Presence of mind: Great when you need an instant cast of a spell with a long cast time. Add it to a macro.
- Blazing Speed: A nice escape from snares and movement buff (even if it’s a brief one.) It’ll save you Blink for other uses.
- Ice Floes: Lets you cast your next two cast time spells while running, such as Frostbolt or Pyro/Arcane blast. Avoid this.
Tier 2 Talents
- Temporal Shield – Nice when being pressured, if you can survive for 4 seconds. The only issue is that you have to time it properly.
- Flameglow: Nerfed in patch 5.3. Deflects some of any incoming damage. Best use if you’re talking a lot of small hits, such as from DOTs.
- Ice Barrier – A nice basic shield. Throw it up and forget about it for a minute.
Tier 3 Talents
- Ring of Frost – nice for blocking pathways or freezing groups. Landing a Ring right before Frost Bomb detonates will make good use of your Shatter ability.
- Ice Ward – We’re not healers and aren’t usually in charge of protecting allies, so this isn’t so hot. Nice for kiting opponents, though.
- Frostjaw – Silence, root, and Freeze all in one. Get a proc (such as Pyro,) freeze him and burn him. Very useful.
Tier 4 Talents
- Greater Invisibility – Fade away, remove two DoTs, and escape.This has definite use. A nice “get our of Dodge” talent.
- Cauterize – Nice if a healer is keeping an eye on you or you remember to ice block right away.
- Coldsnap – nice for emergency heal and/or refreshing cooldowns for more Shatters. 3 min cooldown, though.
Tier 5 Talents
- Nether Tempest – This is the pick if you mainly fight single targets.
- Living Bomb – With the 5.3 buff this is, at least, on a par with Nether Tempest and has certain advantages, such as not breaking your team’s CC until it blows.
- Frost Bomb – This would be sweet if it was instant like the other two. Especially if it blows in the middle of some frozen opponents.
Tier 6 Talents
- Invocation: Get a nice damage boost every time you Evocate.
- Rune of Power: Cast a Rune, stand on it, blast away with increased power. Not so hot for PvP where a lot of movement is required.
- Incanter’s Ward: Absorbs damage, boosts mana regen, and buffs Spell Power. What’s not to like?
Need to Get to 90? Fast?
Once you have the right build in mind for your Mage your next step is to get a full blown Mage leveling guide for the most effective (fastest) leveling. Why? With thousands of quests and a million mobs to grind the trip to the highest levels can take awhile. A long while. An in-game leveling guide makes the whole trek a whole lot easier.
Pick your starting point and the guide will show you where to go, what to do, and keep track of your objectives (such as Kill X of…). Dugi’s Guide automatically updates and advances as you complete tasks and quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically (always showing you where to go next,) and includes all the important quest info.
Dugi’s does this even if you’ve gained levels in the dungeons or PvP Battlegrounds. Leave off the questing to gain a few levels elsewhere, then come back and Dugi’ss will figure out where you are and show you the best place to go next, automatically. Whether you’re brand new to WoW or covered from head to toe in Heirlooms, Dugi will show you the way to get leveled as fast as possible.
Dugi’s is fully updated for the latest patches of every expansion. With it you will probably never need to look at your quest log again, much less browse some website. Grab your copy here and get leveled fast.
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